FirstGlance Film Festival
Director: Norry Niven
It’s usually not a good sign for someone to be completely lost in the opening sequence of a film, but despite being just that, Chasing Shakespeare ended up being a beautiful, worthwhile trip. There have been numerous Shakespeare adaptations over the years, but none quite like this. With a unique take on Romeo and Juliet blended with some crazy Native American folklore, director Norry Niven delivers a wild and heartfelt story. And although it’s nothing like the Lethal Weapon films, Danny Glover gives a great performance as William Ward, an old man who is coping with the recent death of his wife, Venus, and trying to repair the relationship with his son in the aftermath. The film consists of William having flashbacks to when William and Venus first met in high school and how they fell in love, with a little help from Shakespeare. The film also incorporates a bit of fantasy, as Niven heavily focuses on the Native American theme due to Venus’ family, who are referred to as the ‘Lightning Clan.’ But what makes this film work is that Niven does not try to adhere to a strict, factual storyline, but rather uses the Native American twist as a tool to his advantage. At times however, it does seem like the plot is trying to be a little too cute with the dialogue and certain scenes, which made it seem like something you’d see on the Disney channel. But with that being said, the unique story and beautiful imagery is what ultimately makes this an enjoyable little film.