Search

Review: Coriolanus

08:59 21 February 2012

Coriolanus

Coriolanus

Archant

For his directorial debut Ralph Fiennes has decided to do one of the more obscure Shakespeares, one for the completists. I like that because it means that this is that rare Shakespeare where I’m not the only person in the audience who doesn’t know what is going to happen.

Share this story

It is very fine piece of filmmaking and, to my inexpert eyes, a very fine Shakespeare production – though the two halves never quite come to an understanding.

Caius Martius (Fiennes) is the outstanding Roman warrior of his time but he is also brusque, haughty and openly dismissive of the common people.

When, on his mother’s (Vanessa Redgrave) promptings he seeks political office he refuses to play the game and curb his forthright opinions: he’s a fascist but hey, at least he’s honest about it.

Everywhere he goes he finds himself harangued by the same select rent-a-mob and eventually it gets the better of him.

Fiennes sets this tale of treachery and ancient Roman political duplicity in modern day Serbia and works hard at making it cinematic.

Although it’s altogether far more sombre, there’s just as much zest and invention as in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet.

A closer parallel though might be Sir Ian McKellen’s Nazi version of Richard III.

It’s a bloody, vibrant vision. Fiennes is outstanding as the man who will become Coriolanus, staring out like a psychotic Womble.

A lot of his dialogue is erudite cumonthens and lezbeavingyas which make him resemble a Danny Dyer who’s swallowed a Thesaurus. The film is shot like it is news footage with people in the crowd straining to record events on their iPhones.

The more the film tries to make Shakespeare cutting edge and relevant, the more dry and academic it becomes.

The delivery has been moulded to seem more like contemporary speech. But then just as a riot is about to erupt suddenly everything will stop for someone to delivery a soliloquy.

The film is dressed up in combat gear that ultimately it can’t quite fill.

CORIOLANUS (15)

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Gerald Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain, James Nesbitt

Length: 123 Mins

***

Share this story

0 comments

Other Dereham events

Friday, December 12, 2014
Creake Abbey are getting ready for a Christmas Farmers Market - Abbey Cafe owner Stephen Harrison with Diana Brocklebank Scott ready with festive fayre. Picture; Matthew Usher.

There are a host of events at Creake Abbey cafe and food hall in the run up to Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014
Grizelda, one of the ugly sisters played by Paul Allum, in Dosoc panto Cinderella. Photo: Emma Licence

There’s a big bad wolf in Wighton and a couple of ugly sisters in Dereham but that can only mean one thing - pantomime!

Friday, November 21, 2014
Irko Tchakut will be selling fresh olives from Greece at the European Food and Craft Fair

From Belgian chocolates to Transylvanian glass, the flavour and feel of the continent comes to four Norfolk market towns over the next few weeks as they are transformed into bustling European market places.

Most Read

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 11°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today E-edition