“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind” are the opening lines of Were the world mine, a refreshing retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
It will appeal not only to gay audience but also to those who likes music, theatre and fantasy. Director Tom Gustafson’s take on queer centric issues, stereotypes, homophobia, coming out, social justice and acceptance is pleasing & still relevant in today’s time.
‘Awaken & empower what’s within’ says the mysterious drama teacher, Ms Tebbit (Wendy Robie) to her students while enrolling them into the production for the school play and that’s when the real fun begins. The protagonist Timothy (Tanner Cohen) who is given to flights of dreaming – is given the role of mischievous Puck in this musical drama and as the rehearsals begin , he find himself concocting the love potion, which when applied to a person’s eyelids while sleeping makes the victim fall in love with the first living thing seen upon awakening. He naively uses the potion to various classmates and townspeople, spawning some fairly hilarious same-sex crushes. The course of true love, indeed, never did run smooth.
But as they say “free will must be restored” and thus, Timothy sets things right and people go back to their true states, but changed for the better. Apparently, a few days of walking in someone else’s shoes does improve the understanding.
Timothy’s mom (Judy McLane) struggling between her own homophobia and her love for her son makes for another interesting & powerful subplot in the movie.
Though the movie is bumpy & lacks talented actors, it is soon overpowered with its magical music and amateurish charm. What is very innovative about the music is that the lyrics are taken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and they still come off as fresh and delicious. The songs are welcome diversions and beautifully capture the mood of the moment. They also act as windows through which we get a glimpse of Timothy’s imaginative world.
In short, it is a fun and joyous movie and flawed or not, I’d like to watch more movies like this. It imitates art and leaves you with a feeling that we are fabulous the way we are.
I reiterate, it’s a must see film and everyone should give in to this pure enjoyment.