Triumph of Love

Rated NR

Is it love that we love so much, or is it the wooing? That question often was on the mind of playwright Marivaux, who chronicled the romantic foibles and hypocrisy of 18th-century France. Filmmaker Claire Peploe (screenwriter of Zabriskie Point and director of Rough Magic) helps him ask it again in the sometimes lovely, but too stagy, adaptation of his The Triumph of Love for the screen. When a beautiful princess (Mira Sorvino) falls for her sworn enemy, the rightful heir to her throne (Jay Rodan), she attempts to win his love through deceit. The resulting plot boasts more secret identities, gender confusion and romantic triangles than most Shakespeare comedies. It also contains superb performances by Ben Kingsley and Fiona Shaw as the young king’s protectors. The madcap pacing is delectable, but attempts to make the classic play manageable to short attention spans—such as slice-and-dice editing and a blaring score for orchestra and electric guitar—eventually undermine this romantic fantasy.

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