The people of Rome are hungry - they cannot afford to eat. Riots are widespread. Their vitriol turns on Caius Martius (later to be Coriolanus), Rome's foremost general who despises the people.from£4.49 | RRP:
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Ralph Fiennes&39; directorial debut CORIOLANUS scripted by John Logan updates one of Shakespeare&39;s more difficult plays without sacrificing the Bard&39;s original dialogue Set in modern times the movie stars Fiennes as the title character a fierce General able to fight Rome&39;s most dreaded enemies as well as quell civil unrest from a lack of food When politicians convince Coriolanus to become a political leader his natural fierceness and lack of political instincts lead to him being disgraced by other politicians and eventually forced to leave Rome after being branded a traitor He then joins with his former enemies to invade Rome and the only person who may be able to talk him out of this revenge plan is his mother (Vanessa Redgrave)
Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut is an adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy about the tribulations of a banished hero. Transposing the action from ancient Rome to present-day Eastern Europe, the film tells the story of General Caius Martius Coriolanus (Fiennes) who returns home from war to find himself at odds with his countrymen who see him as a tyrant looking for fame and glory. When his ambitious mother, Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave), tries to orchestrate formal recognition for her son, both the authorities and the people turn against Coriolanus and exile him. Allying himself with his former enemy, Aufidius (Gerald Butler), an embittered Coriolanus sets out for revenge against those who have wronged him.
Average Rating for Coriolanus - 5 out of 5
(based on 1 user reviews)
Riveting adaptation of Shakespeare's play about an embittered Roman General who loathes the people, is betrayed by opportunistic politicians and ultimately joins forces with his arch-enemy to lead an assault against the city he once protected. Ralph Fiennes is on superb form as both director and lead, his portrayal of the aloof and arrogant Caius Martius Coriolanus is matched word for word by co-star Gerry Butler, equally impressive as charismatic rebel leader Tullus Aufidius. Updating the story to modern times, 'Coriolanus' begins in 'A place calling itself Rome' where public dissatisfaction is at an all time high as Affidus intensifies his campaign: Executing captured Roman troops on camera and provoking the powers that be to send in Caius Martius to pacify the insurgency.
Fiennes directs the battle scenes with a sure hand and the war zone looks a lot like the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya or Dagestan. But the real conflicts take place in the corridors of power; where malicious machinations, deceit and treachery prove much worse than the bombs and bullets of the battlefield. 'Coriolanus' is easily the best dramatic performance of Ralph Fiennes career, Gerry Butler, though absent for long periods of time, is also a revelation; and his relationship with Coriolanus traverses the boundaries between respect, friendship and rivalry.
Vanessa Redgrave almost steals the show as Caius Matius's mother Volumina (the long scene where she tries to dissuade her son from attacking Rome is particularly good) whilst a strong supporting cast that includes Jessica Chastin, Brian Cox, Lubna Azabal, Ashraf Barhom and James Nesbit all play their parts well. But this is Fiennes film, and he takes home the lion's share of the best dialogue and turns the dry, military man into a sympathetic anti-hero of sorts. For you'll be hard pressed not to applaud the iambic blitzkrieg of scorn and vitriol that Fiennes brings with every attempt to make him a politician or acceptable to the masses. A particular favourite of mine is the scene where Coriolanus is asked to apologise for an earlier outburst and make amends with the senate:
'Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! my throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! A most inherent baseness:
I would not buy Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,
To have't with saying 'Good morrow'.
An excellent adaptation the play: well paced, acted and an impressive directorial debut from Fiennes. A must see.
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