So, for the second day in a row I sit in my little office. It is now an extra bedroom for my sister-in-law, Allison. If you don’t know about my wife’s 4 younger sisters, shame on me for not talking about them more. Allison has a family. Check it out! Two of my wife’s sisters showed up at 4 a.m. to stay for the weekend. Before they went to sleep, they rearranged my furniture. I awoke to a changed house. I looks great, and they certainly have a better sense of style and organization than we do. The three of them are walking Disney’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler.
This leaves my son, with his newly-casted broken arm, my father and I to a night of Monopoly, pizza and another disappointing University of South Florida Football Game. Not a bad option really. I’m taking halftime to write another movie review. This one is of Ralph Fiennes’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.
I was only slightly familiar with the story, and the history. From the outset I had trust. I trust Gerard Butler and I really trust Ralph Feinnes. I knew this would not be King Leonides versus Valdemort-which is why I trusted it. Feinnes’s General Marcius is brutal. He is a brutal speaker, who does not mince words when an OWS type mob (complete with a moral and political compass like a rooster-style barn-top weathervane) addresses the shortage of grain in the beginning. After he single handedly defeats the Volsces, the same angry mob decides to elect him consul. When two opportunistic, media dog tribunals decide to play the mob’s fears and anxieties against them, the citizens turn on a dime and demand Marcius’s head. Marcius responds with a “Screw you too!” and the angry mob chases him out of Rome.
Having already sworn a blood feud with The leader of the Volsces, Tullus Aufidius, played by Gerard Butler, Coriolanus decides that teaming up with him would be a great idea. Feinnes sells it quite well, Butler buys it convincingly.
Butler’s strong Scottish accent interferes with some of the Elizabethan English in iambic pentameter, but it’s still cool sounding. Imagine One Two from RocknRolla giving a courtroom summation. Who gives a shite what he said, it sounded good to me. He plays Aufidius as a paramilitary everyman with the support of the proletariat- almost a Che Guevara, minus the mass murder and selling out of his nation to the very notion he was fighting of course. Aufidious’s realization that his men are modeling Marcius, instead of him, drives him mad. It leads to another obvious but important twist of fate and character interaction between Feinnes and Butler.The play between these to great actors is the story.
I enjoyed the modernistic feel, and thought that it gave the story relevance. Many modernized Shakespeare productions only succeed in making the characters hip and leaving the audience in the dust. This production, albeit adapted, stayed very true to the original, but it did not seem archaic. Thats hard to do without having Kenneth Branagh in the conversation.
I give it 3 deceptions and a crying to mommy!