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Plot: The citizens of Rome are hungry. Coriolanus, the hero of Rome, a great soldier and a man of inflexible self-belief despises the people. His extreme views ignite a mass riot. Rome is bloody. Manipulated and out-maneuvered by politicians and even his own mother Volumnia, Coriolanus is banished from Rome. He offers his life or his services to his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius. Runtime: 123 mins Release Date: 19 Jan 2011
By far the best Shakespearean movie...no, I correct myself....the best movie of a Shakespearean play....no, that's not right either...the best film based on a Shakespearean play....not quite right yet....the best cinematic adaptation of a Shakespearean play I've ever seen. The use of cinematic techniques close-ups, hand held cameras, slick editing enhances the already pungent dramatic elements of the play as well as making the language more easily understood while the parallelism to contemporary political and diplomatic events it is set in modern dress is both uncanny and apt. And <more>
the acting is simply superb; you will never hear the word "boy" in a Shakespearean play again without thinking of Fiennes's face.
For a long the and in published articles, I have maintained that "Coriolanus" is the most underrated of Shakespeare's tragedies, and perhaps his best. Ralph Fienne's contemporary version is "based on" the original text, but preserves the complex character of its eponymous hero. Though I feared a "Coriolanus" with machine guns and television, this updating liberates Fiennes to present Caius Martius in a much more nuanced manner than traditional portrayals would allow. Are there aspects with which I disagree? Of course--every Shakespeare lover has an ideal <more>
version in his or her mind. But this is more than a worthy one. It is a revelation. Add Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia and Jessica Chastain as Virgilia and you have a sharp and well-drawn contrast between the public man of war and his private realm where he is well- loved by his wife and driven on by his mother. I do not understand any of the relatively negative reviews.
Another fine adaptation of one of the master's works (by david-sarkies)
I really do like the Shakespeare plays that have been moved into a more modern setting, and it is even better when the play that is selected, such as this play, is one that is not well known. The reason I say this is because plays are designed to be performed rather than read and as such they are much easier to follow when they are performed. This is something that I have found time and again when I have had the pleasure of seeing a play performed that I have previously read. One such play was Marlow's Dr Faust, and then I had the pleasure of discovering that Fiennes had decided to make a <more>
movie adaptation of this play.Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare's Roman plays and it was originally based on the Plutarch biography of the same name. The play is set during the Roman Republican period at a time before it had spread out much beyond the Italian peninsula. At the time the Republic was facing a number of crises, including a food shortage and border wars with the Volscians. Coriolanus not his original name, but a name that was given to him in honour of his service to the Republic is a general in the army, and begins performing civil duties in quelling food riots that are erupting throughout the city. When another border war with the Volscians flares up, he takes his legions and invades the city of Coriolus and captures it for Rome.As is typical of the Romans, his victory is honoured with a triumph, and he is then elected counsel the Roman equivalent of President . However being elected consul is not easy thing, because while the Senate may nominate the consul, the people must ratify it. The problem for Coriolanus is that he does not love the people, he is a patrician through and through, and does not hide it. While at first the people do accept him, his enemies the Tribunes representatives of the people sway them back to rejecting him. In response, Coriolanus rejects his home and flees to the Volscians and joins forces with them to have his revenge upon the Republic.This play deals with the age old conflict that exists between the plebeians common folk and the patricians wealthy folk and we see this conflict played out every day on the streets of our modern cities. One of the reasons that many of these plays are brought into the modern world is that not only do they make Shakespeare more accessible to modern audiences, they also highlight the timelessness of these plays. As was suggested by one commentary, the modern images of this play, and the news footages which were done really well show how the problems that faced ancient Rome can and still face our cities and our people today.The other theme of this play is the tragedy of the hero turned traitor. Once again I dispute that Coriolanus had a fatal flaw, but rather it was the decisions that he made that brought about his downfall. The purpose of joining the enemy was purely one of vengeance, and unless he managed to destroy Rome, this alliance was never going to work. It is made clear, time and time again, that Aufidius and Coriolanus were bitter enemies: they hated each other, so for Coriolanus to think that he could then easily join Aufidius in an assault upon Rome and not meet a bad ending is the epitome of foolishness.Finally, this film further shows that Shakespeare can and is incredibly violent, however in being brought to the screen, the violence is intensified so much more. One can do a lot more on the screen than can ever be done on the stage, and while it takes an awful lot of talent to be able to successfully translate a Shakespearian play from the stage to the screen, I believe that Fiennes has been very successful in doing so.
I had the pleasure of seeing Ralph Fiennes's "Coriolanus" at the St. Louis International Film Festival, on Nov 11th, 2011. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire film. Needless to say, the filming, production values, etc., were fantastic; but it was the relevance of the film that kept me glued to the screen. Ralph Fiennes captured the timeless concepts that Shakespeare expressed in his play brilliantly - so much so that I feel there will be strong/visceral audience reaction to the film's depiction of themes that reflect in today's front page stories. The theme <more>
of a military officer's political role resonated with me as a retired Navy Officer. The theme of the contrast between "high society" and the proletariat resonates in the "Occupy XXX" protests occurring today. The conflict between liberal and conservative dare I say Democrat vs. Republican ideals played very loudly in this film. Even the issues in European politics reflected themes we see in today's news. The acting by Ralph Fiennes, Vanessa Redgrave & Gerard Butler propelled the story and kept it moving swiftly. Some have panned the use of Shakespeare's original language. I, for one, had no trouble following the language. This film ranks with Kenneth Brannagh's "Henry V" and Baz Luhrmann's "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" for making a film in Shakespearean English accessible by 21st Century Man. I've always believed that some folks in the U.S. malign William Shakespeare's writings today, because they were forced to read his plays in a cold classroom setting in their youth. Shakespeare didn't intend his works to be read. He meant them to be performed and watched. This film proves the power of a good telling of a Shakespeare tale.
A jaw-dropping interpretation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. I was literally in awe when I left. Admittedly, I know my way around the story, I've read Coriolanus a few times. But I have to say that this adaptation is so well executed that I caught myself discovering incredible lines and themes and ideas to which I had never paid attention before. Ralph Fiennes' interpretation of Coriolanus is solid. The pride, the wrath, the one-track-mindedness are all very palpable. And one couldn't wish for a better Volumnia. Terrifying. Fascinating. I've always been reluctant to modern <more>
settings, but this time, I loved it. It just worked. Go and see for yourself. As for me, I'm definitely going to watch it again.
Fiennes has made Shakespeare not only accessible but utterly thrilling (by Greigx3)
Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare without Shakespearean language. It might be difficult to understand exactly what the dialogue is during parts of Coriolanus, but there's no difficulty following the meaning. The action, the direction and some powerful performances – most notably from Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave – carry the film and more than compensate for the language barriers. Some people walked out about halfway through but the climactic third act made it well worth the perseverance – especially Redgrave's moving monologue as the formidable matriarch Volumnia.Gerard <more>
Butler was pretty forgettable in this. Whether that's because he isn't exactly of thespian discipline or because his character isn't particularly pronounced in this play, is up to you to decide. Perhaps he and Jessica Chastain are nothing more than a bit of totty to sell the film? Perhaps that's just a bit cynical.James Nesbitt added an interesting, somewhat unexpected dynamic to the play with his enigmatic nuances of jest and malice. Also worth a mention was the little-known Dragan Micanovic who played a minor character, Titus, but delivered a couple of pivotal lines with engrossing presence.The real star of the show is obviously Shakespeare. His poetic prose courses through your mind and adds fuel to the fires of his drama. His characters are bold and consistent, truly agents of their own destinies. The subject matter resonates with political allegory and the film's release is timely and relevant. The play set in a present day context highlights the tribal social system which still dominates our affairs. The story also works to express the futility of war.Fiennes has done well to translate Coriolanus from the stage to the screen and he hasn't stretched it too far so as to alienate it from the original text. Stylistically, the film is quite gritty. The focus is mostly on the actors, their eyes, their expressions and their delivering of lines, but there are a few purely cinematic moments fight scenes in particular which justify the adaptation to the screen. There are a couple of truly violent moments in the film which blast the cobwebs off the old play and hook the modern, desensitized audience into the story.Coriolanus is a tense and violent political wartime thriller which makes Shakespeare not only accessible but utterly captivating. A credible directorial debut from one of the industry's finest working actors.http://ionlyaskedwhatyouthought.blogspot.com/
Look out Kenneth Branagh (by gervasiustvinkleminkleso)
This is my first review on IMDb so bare with me. Coriolanus has the right ingredients for a good movie, great story can you top Shakespeare? and a strong cast.Only thing that was unknown so far is the director.IMO Mr. Fiennes did very well in his debut, his camera moves around at eyes height and often lingers close up to actors faces it keeps the film from being stagy and lets you see all the nuances they convey .Locations are interesting and there are couple of nice fight scenes.The language is Shakespirian but i had no problems understanding it not my native lang. , musical score is kinda <more>
tribal and quite appropriate for the theme of the film. It's a very dark movie and it gets a bit bloody sometime so if you're not into that be warned. My vote is 8/10 i recommend it to everyone and hope to see more of Mr. Fiennes work behind the camera. P.S. Look out Ken Branagh you've got some competition now :
I couldn't disagree more with the review that slates Shakespeare's text as 'too wordy for modern audiences'. Viewers may find it challenging, but even those who haven't read his work should appreciate his superb capacity for character, metaphor and sheer innovation. To reduce the play to just the plot with some poor, clichéd and genuinely meaningless Hollywood script is to deprive it of its value, and to do a great disservice to its literary status. The responsibility for understanding the language which I staunchly believe has a timeless relevance , lies with those who <more>
struggle to do so, not with the text itself. I cannot disagree strongly enough with the implication that we should dumb-down Shakespeare.
I just got out of the Toronto International Film Festival TIFF North American Premier Gala event of Coriolanus. The movie was both gripping and powerful. Yes it is always nice to see a film with cast and director in hand to introduce the film and take credit at is completion, but this movie definitely earned the audiences standing ovation. Some may fear a presentation in Iambic Pentameter though the script and delivery made every line understandable. Setting Shakespeare in a modern day Roman city state was smart. I enjoyed ever minute of this film and if you are a fan of good story telling, <more>
Shakespeare or war movies, you will enjoy Coriolanus.