Actually, it shared quite a lot in common with Sir Peter Hall's production, which I had seen in Boston my junior year, and which was equally as disappointing. Both Hall and Mendes's versions embraced the cold elements of the play--emphasizing the harshness of the world and man's precarious place in it. Both featured snow covered stages and modern-slob dress. Both downplayed Rosalind, making her almost an appendage to the male characters, who they clearly found more interesting. Frankly, it made me yearn for a professional production by a woman director.
To me, the play has always been a study in artifice. A play which sets a cast of characters in a court where they must use their wits and smarts to survive. Rosalind must be an exemplary, tough as nails woman who does not show the psychic damage of being the daughter of a banished duke. Outside of the court she must pass herself off as a man in order to protect her physical safety. Orlando is a youngest son forced to hide his light under a bushel so as not to provoke the rage of an eldest brother who is not as intrinsically good as he. Touchstone and Jaques may place themselves in the positions of fools, but they are the cleverest and most clear sighted of the bunch. Ultimately, it is the vividness and truthfulness of Rosalind and Orlando's characters that forces them beyond artifice to embrace who they truly are and restore peace to Arden.