Other Uses of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew has been adapted for modern times in the release of the well known film 10 Things I Hate About You starring Health Ledger (Patrick) and Julia Stiles (Kat) in 1999. The youth of today will be more familiar this with production, often not realizing that is was based on Shakespeare's work.
This film is set in modern America and the main characters are adolescents, drawing on the relevance of the play's themes to today's youth. The plot follows the same structure of Taming of the Shrew. Bianca (Larissa Oleynik) cannot date until her older, independent and disliked sister, Kat finds a boyfriend. Joey/Hortensio (Andrew Keegan) teams up with his competition Cameron/Lucentio (Joseph Gorden-Levitt), to try and convince Patrick/Petruccio to date Kat/Katarina so that they will be free to set their sights on Bianca. Initially this ploy works and Bianca is free to go out with whomever she chooses and in this case she selects Joey for his good looks, popularity and status.
However, Kat uncovers the ploy and breaks up with Patrick. This throws Bianca into a state of hysterics and in order to gain her freedom again she decides to help Patrick, who has now fallen for Kat, to win her sisters love once again. Much to Joey's approval, Patrick and Bianca succeed and Kat and Patrick are reunited as a couple. This leaves Bianca and Joey free to see each other once again, until Bianca discovers that Joey is sexually exploiting her. Despite his past rejection, Cameron remains good friends with Bianca and helps her through her final break-up with Joey and gradually they fall in love.
This process is similar to the one that USQ's director Leticia Caceres has utilised in her interpretation of the Taming of the Shrew. Ten Things I Hate About You targets the youth and the issues that surround growing up, Leticia targets women and the exploitation of their gender, which has been an issue for centuries. In doing so she has heightened the sexual connotations, flirting and the abusive tactics that characters employ particularly Petruccio. One way she has done this is to transform the character of Petruccio into the ultimate sexual oppressor, 'The Pimp'.