A lively stage adaptation, filmed well, anchored by several strong comic performances.
The subplots of the play, involving numerous foreigners and backhanded deals, work much better on stage (and screen) than on the page, as the accents, vocal flourishes, and body language are so key to unlocking the actual comedy of them. The primary Falstaff material works much better on the page, as it’s just plainly witty dialogue, but Christopher Benjamin does a great job bringing it to life. William Belchambers as Master Slender was my other favourite performance, as his movements and body language really brought a whole new dimension to the already humorous antics of his in the text.
I’m no huge fan of the play itself, and I feel more could have been trimmed from the original text to keep the pacing more energetic in this adaptation, but it certainly brought the comedy to life very well. I give it three suitors, and cuckold’s horns.