Critically evaluate the success or otherwise of the film "ten things I hate about you" as an adaptation of Shakespeare's "the taming of the shrew."

Essay by mousseHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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The movie Ten Things I Hate About You (1999), directed by Gilbert Junger is a recent, witty and highly successful adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedic classic The Taming of the Shrew. The film is a loose adaptation of the play, aiming not to recreate the original, but rather bring the storyline and its themes into a modern context that can be enjoyed by younger contemporary audiences. The film was a great success, appealing to teens and adults alike because of appropriate casting of actors for each role, whose name alone can draw viewers; fresh characters who are able to draw the viewers into their world, suspending reality; effective modernisation of Shakespearian characters, bringing humour to the screen; a wonderful script that combines humour, drama and romance; and themes, borrowed from Shakespeare's original work, that appeal and are relevant to the intended audience. These five elements combined to produce a fresh, original modernisation of The Taming of The Shrew barely recognizable at first, but with study, an excellent comparison and appropriation of the original play, its themes and values.

The film Ten Things I Hate About You immediately introduces its audience to a cast that is fun, interesting and easy to connect with, bringing a new face to Shakespeare's original. As a result of this, the intended audiences of 13-18 year olds find that they can easily relate to the characters, laughing and sometimes crying along with them. The teenage cast members including Julia Stiles(Kat), Larissa Oleynik (Bianca), Joseph Gordan-Levitt(Cameron) and Andrew Keegan (Joey) were chosen not only for their considerable dramatic talent, but for their status as teen idols. The audience, spotting a somewhat familiar face in those actors, feels much more involved in the story line. The casting of characters also extends to the adult actors, namely Alison...