The Princess of France

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Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

"It only lasts an economical 70 minutes but seems considerably longer"

Fast-emerging Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro seems obsessed with the works of Shakespeare. Already he has given his individual twist on As You Like It and Twelfth Night in Rosalind and Viola in a series he calls “Shakespeared”.

Now he turns his attention to Love’s Labour’s Lost, detailing how life begins to imitate art when a Buenos Aires theatre company mounts a radio version of the play.

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He uses some of the same troupe of youthful actors has his previous films he takes a similar low-key approach – as if we are outsiders dropping in on private conversations.

Piñeiro moves the setting to Buenos Aires where a theatre director (Julian Larquier Tellarini) returns from a sojourn in Mexico and the death of his fathe to produce a series of radio plays based on the words of The Bard. His first choice of Loves Labours Lost features of a cast of female, all of whom seem to have been involved with him.

Natalia (Romina Paula) gave him the brush-off before he went on his travels but he claims to still be in love with her. Augustina Muñoz, as Paula, is a former girlfriend who has decided to stay faithful to hnim while Ana (Maria Villar) has the status of “official” companion but is sceptical about his true intentions. And there is also Lorena (Laura Paredes) who for the moment is just a friend but hopes things may turn more serious.

Piñeiro gives them all massive amounts of dialogue to deliver (in Spanish) and flits from present to past and reality and fiction.

It only lasts an economical 70 minutes but seems considerably longer, partly because English-speakers may miss the nuances of the dialogue even if they are familiar with the play and the characters.

Nothing daunted, apparently, Piñeiro is all set to tackle A Midsummer Night’s Dream (this time in English) and titled Helena & Hermia as well as Measure for Measure.

"The Princess of France" will receive a theatrical release in the US through Cinema Guild in early 2015.

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2014
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A year after his father’s death, Victor returns to Buenos Aires in order to reconquer the life he was forced to abandon. He brings a new project with him for his former theater company: a radio-play of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost.


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