Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This movie is based on a lesser-known play by William Shakespeare. The story tells us about a legendary Roman general, named Caius Martius (played by Ralph Fiennes), at a time where Rome just banished the last king and took the first steps towards the Republic. Though Caius Martius has won many victories for Rome, he is not loved with the common people, mainly because he is openly contemptuous towards the commoners.
When news arrives Rome is in danger because the Volscian army, lead by Aufidius (played by Gerald Butler) is on the move, Caius Martius leaves Rome to quelch the threat nearly single-handedly. After an encounter with his mortal enemy Aufidius in the city of Coriole, he returns victorious. He receives great praise and is granted the name "Coriolanus". His mother convinces him to run for consul. Some tribunes however do not agree with this idea, and rally the commoners against the general.
The tribunes are successful in their intent, and the commoners manage to provoke Coriolanus so much, that he openly insults the people of Rome. For that, he is exiled.
Filled with rage, Coriolanus swore to take revenge...
To me, this movie was awesome in so many ways. The story, the acting, the setting, but most of all, the way Ralph Fiennes (who is also the director) takes an "old" story and puts it in a contemporary background, without losing any of the original storyline or feeling. A risky, but magnificent choice was to keep the original text from the Shakespearian play. Though this might give the movie an archaic feeling to some, to me it was fantastic. I felt like I was in ancient Rome, but at the same time the movie felt so 'real', not only because it took place in a fictious present, but also because it really felt like this 'present' could actually happen. An amazing way to bring back Shakespeare into the hearts and minds of the people.
The acting also was astounding. The way Fiennes takes on the arrogant, wrathful role of Coriolanus in such a convincing manner, gives many a viewer - including me - the chills. Aufidius on the other hand is more forgiving, more reasonable. Gerald Butler made it look like these traits aren't just 'acted', but actually are a part of himself. Amazing.
In short, the way in which this Shakespearian tragedy is brought back to life, gives great homage to one of the most important writers known to man. Definitely worth watching.