A Caribbean Dream is a romantic comedy drama adapted from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The film was written and directed by Shakirah Bourne. The adaptation is set in modern Barbados with the island’s natural beauty expertly captured by cinematographer, Robin Whenary, the lush beaches along with the dense and vibrantly green forest popping on screen.
Is there a need for another adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Perhaps not but this adaptation won Best Film at the London Independent Film Festival and so comes with a certain amount of pedigree. The film follows the stories of the four famous young lovers showcased within an annual Barbados crop festival. The authentic Barbadian soundtrack ply’s the film with upbeat rhythms to go alongside the natural sparkle of the Shakespearean dialogue.
The film takes elements of traditional Barbadian culture and storytelling to insert fishermen from Six Men’s Bay as the Craftsmen from the original play. The fishermen seek to perform a play – King Ja Ja and Becka – to win the top prize of £15,000 in a talent contest that is being run by Theseus. The set piece of this play is very well carried out well.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play that contains dialogue that has a natural energy and a keen and exhilarating sense of humour and this is where A Caribbean Dream falls down. The mixture of modern English, Barbadian slang and original Shakespeare dialogue causes the film to feel jarring in with jokes falling flat where once they would have zinged. Technically the set pieces in the film are slightly labored, with the exception of King Ja Ja and Becka, adding to film’s overall sense of clunkiness.
Overall, A Caribbean Dream is a film that has merit and look sumptuous with a great soundtrack but the handling of the story let’s this hard work down.
A CARIBBEAN DREAM is in UK Cinemas and digital / on demand 10th November