Review this movie
Mar 26, 2014Oh the missed opportunity. It cuts me deep. Great visuals and direction from Ralph Fiennes in his directorial debut. The modern day adaptation of Shakepeare's play was a very creative way to change it up. The difference in setting when we see Apple Computers in one shot and then we see this very 1500s/1600s set pieces outside was a very interesting choice that I enjoyed. The action sequences were intense and the thrills were certainly there. In spite of knowing that this is a tragedy, you still get attached to the characters even though you know there is no other way for this one to wind up. Impressive on those fronts for sure.
Now, the negatives. There are, admittedly, not many, but they are major enough to knock this down all the way to such a low rating for me. The major negative here is the dialogue. You can kind of piece together what is going on, for sure, but the Shakespearean language made this one a pain to watch. Very intense scenes could have been all the more intense if I understood what they were saying. The fact that they were intense at all speaks to Fiennes' talent in the director's chair, but his failure to realize that Shakespearean language is very hard to understand and does not really translate well to film is a major redmark on this debut. In addition, aside from Fiennes, the acting was incredibly spotty. In too many scenes, it felt forced and as if I was watching a bad play. I am sure the language used played a role in this feeling, but the acting was anything but up to snuff. With such a capable cast of actors, I expected much more, but was instead left disappointed as I never really "bought" a lot of it, as it was painfully obvious they were acting.… Expand
Nov 20, 2013Did the people who made this film know the differences between cinema and theater? I think not. That's why the characters speak as if they are on stage and the city of modern Rome has a population of one hundred people and an army of thirty. Moreover, why didn't they place the story in antiquity? Their 'modern Rome' is just an average city of today with dysfunctional institutions. Fiennes' powerful performance and Shakespeare's finely crafted story depicting the destructive consequences of human pride and jealousy and the ingratitude of the people are wasted here.
May 14, 2012Fiennes' acting is great, but the direction is fairly eccentric, with MTV-style editing and extreme closeups ala Tony Scott style.
The overall movie is pretty gimmicky, it's just Shakespeare with explosions and a modern day set design. The dialog isn't altered to fit the new style, nor is it particularly interesting to follow in it's theatrical overbearing dialog scenes, where rarely more than 2 of the dozens of con-screen actors ever talk at a time.
The film would've been far better as a more true adaptation keeping things in their time period. Trying to randomly bring everything to a modern and American setting makes no sense, and keeping the dialog in it's untouched original form means the film is only going to be enjoyable by self-proclaimed Shakespeare fans.
This won't be the film that makes Shakespeare interesting or identifiable to you.… Expand