Chimes At Midnight Review - AVClub

AVClub: “Jesus, the days that we have seen,” whistles the voice of skinny Robert Shallow as he shuffles up a snow-covered slope, followed a few paces behind by the teetering outline of Sir John Falstaff. Against the whiteness of the snow, these two old men resemble silhouettes of black ink escaping a sheet of paper, framed through rocks and gnarled trees that hold down the foreground like paperweights. The scene suggests a writing desk, but also a purgatory of abandoned art—a Pieter Bruegel snowscape, depopulated except for two stragglers. And who is this we, anyway? Is it just these two discarded characters, or the whole legendarium of Shakespeare? The best and most touchingly personal of all Shakespeare adaptations, Chimes At Midnight is pervaded by melancholy and loneliness, even though its characters are almost seen never alone.

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