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Review: Coriolanus

Filming the Bard
By PETER KEOUGH  |  February 16, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

In a line of fascist-style stagings of the Bard from Orson Welles's 1937 black-shirted Julius Caesar to Richard Loncraine's brown-shirted Richard III (1998), Ralph Fiennes sets his lean and hungry take on Shakespeare's tragedy in a mo dern-day war zone, paring the play to a brisk two hours. He cuts orations in favor of action, such as the hero's grunt-level conquest of the Grozny-like Corioles, stronghold of the Volscians, from which he receives his title honorific. Looking like an extra from Act of Valor, Fiennes plays the cammie-clad warlord with the charm of Voldemort, little ingratiating himself to the Roman people, and between his hatred of the hoi polloi and his love for his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) he dooms his prospects as despot. Gerard Butler as the Volscian leader Aufidius puts a homoerotic spin on his love/hate relationship with his enemy, and Fiennes turns the play into a sly commentary on contemporary populist politicking.

  Topics: Reviews , Movie Reviews, Ralph Fiennes, Shakespeare,  More more >
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