A risky move, but it pays off - Eoghan Bolger
Coriolanus is an action drama film directed by Ralph Fiennes, it stars the director himself, Jessica Chastain, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave. The plot is an adaptation of the Shakespeare play of the same name about a soldier who is appointed leader of Rome however he expresses hatred of his own people, openly insults and does not care for them, he's stubborn and is called tyrannical, too tough, can't be controlled.
The movie is two hours long.
Fiennes has made a very very brave move here, especially considering this is a directorial debut. Lurhmann somehow got away with this and it was excellent through his re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet, Fiennes gets it just about right too because this is more than an impressive first effort.
The actors equally must have had a difficult time mouthing off lines of old English just as much as the director trying to make things work in a modern setting.
They perform well and the execution is good enough that the risky premise works.
That been said there are a few problems. The dialogue, for a modern audience is going to take some time and focus to follow and understand and someone is going to be initially put off by the setting. Like Luhrmann's film is you look past this and listen carefully it becomes more under stable and accessible.
Fiennes juggles director and actor roles splendidly, especially considering he is the main focus, particularly in the first half. Redgrove offers a strong support role and I only wish Butler had more to do here.
Theres a definite learning curve but by the end of the first half you'll be feeling rewarded. Perhaps the most striking aspect is how relevant/close Shakespere image of politicians, soldiers and war is to today.
Review published on the 26 February 2012 05:25
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