Dost thou knoweth if Shakespeare makes ones soul cry? Dost thou? If you are not a Shakespeare fan, not only do you have no idea what I just said, but you would also be bored out of your mind during Coriolanus. For Ralph Fiennes’ first outing as director he wanted to do something special and memorable; and how do you beat Shakespeare for that? Take a 400 years old play about a betrayed Roman General seeking vengeance, update it to modern day, fill it up with classically trained Brits, roll the cameras and stand back. Not a bad plan. Of course Fiennes also starred in this and to no surprise, his performance was as terrific as we have come to expect from an actor of his caliber. Bringing the menace and terror of Lord Voldemort mixed with the pity of his earlier character work like the English Patient was no easy feat, but we believe he accomplished it.
It takes a certain amount of bravery and British fortitude to take a play from a man as iconic as William Shakespeare and update it to modern day. Well it does in the UK, American audiences don’t care what you do, but in Britain if your playing the bard, you better get it right. So it was really intriguing to see what Fiennes accomplished. The setting, the look, the societal conflicts, everything had the feel of today. But in updating the setting he made us realize how similar this day and age are to one thousands of years prior. The film serves as a political commentary on the ideas that the masses can be manipulated and that everyone has to play the game to get ahead. Now, the strange thing with all of this is that they didn’t update the language. Everything else is modern but they are still all slinging around thou’s and dost’s and adding “th” to end of regular words. It was AWESOME! Even Gerard Butler nailed it, making every performance in the movie top notch.
All that said you will still only like this movie if you can decipher Shakespearean, and don’t mind some political commentary soaked in blood.
Conclusion:Â Â If you consider yourself to be a Shakespeare fan and can completely understand Shakespearean, GO!!! Otherwise, save your money, because chances are you’ll feel like you’re watching Call Of Duty unfold before your eyes in another language.
Until next time…
See you at the theater!