Sunday, 4 March 2012
That is the main problem with this movie. Unfortunately, the benefits of Coriolanus are not enough to outweigh the fact that the language caused me to zone out a bit and have my mind wander. But that could also be due in some part to the fact that it moved a lot slower than I originally thought it would. I came in thinking that this would be much more of a political/action movie and it turns out to be another tale of pride, betrayal and treachery that many of Shakespeare's tragedies are. In fact, I should have known better because not only is it Shakespeare, it is Ancient Rome and Ancient Rome was basically nothing but pride, betrayal and treachery. But, because it was a Roman story, I wanted to see it. I am a huge history buff and Rome is my favourite topic.
Add the fact that it has some terrific actors in Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler and Brian Cox and I actually made a point of seeing it. Fortunately, through all of the actors' body language and inflection, I was able to follow the story all right. The acting performances were quite good and had the right emotions for the situation all the way around. With that and very good use of sets and settings in Fiennes' direction, it made it easier to understand what was going on. (I must stop and say I liked Fiennes directing but he did make the mistake of using a shaky camera so that's another strike against the film.) However, because of the Shakespearean language, I found it very difficult to understand why anything was happening. Why was Fiennes calm then infuriated? Why did the crowd want him as Consul and then do a 180 within 30 seconds? Why did Butler say he understood Fiennes' feelings and then do a 180 himself? Why? Why? Why? In an intricate story of pride, betrayal and treachery, the why becomes pretty important. I think that's why I enjoyed the Tempest much more. It was pretty much a comedy and I could sit back and laugh. In fact, I enjoy Shakespeare's comedies more simply because of that.
Sadly, I cannot recommend this film. Rome is one of my favourite topics and because of that, I wanted so badly to love this movie. But, when I cannot understand why things are happening, that overshadows all the good things about the film making. Don't See it.