The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Anonymous | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Anonymous

Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis

I've suffered through Emmerich's body of work like schoolboys suffer through Shakespeare. Fitting then that the two should be united, and just as you'd expect it's a hell of a hard slog.
Emmerich is the uber-hack, a shockingly bad director who lucked out with "Stargate" and has tortured audiences since with a series of overblown blockbusters whose running times have been known to cause hemorrhoids. The guy just has no idea how to tell a story simply and cohesively. I was utterly lost watching this movie. Characters are referred to without telling us visually who exactly they are, timelines are clumsily flipped back and forth, battle scenes occur with no established context. The cinematography is amateurish, all cheap looking filters and ham-fisted colour correction. The acting is so over the top it feels like an episode of "Blackadder". The editing leaves us scratching our heads as to whether we are watching a flashback or not. The CGI wouldn't look out of place in a nineties PC game.
The one positive is Ifans, excellent as Edward of Essex who this movie purports to be the real author of the bard's works.
In one of the movie's closing scenes we are told how Shakespeare defined his time. If film-makers like Michael Bay and Emmerich define ours I hope it's a chapter to be torn from the history books.