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

New Release Review - Coriolanus

Directed by: Ralph Fiennes
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain

The concept of staying faithful to a Shakespearean text is antithetic to film-making yet most film-makers insist on such reverence when tackling the bard.
The language in Shakespeare's work is indeed beautiful but it's the stories themselves that form his legacy. If film-makers focused on just adapting the stories well rather than pedantically quoting the dialogue then Shakespeare's IMDB page would read a lot better.
All the classics have been taken already so Fiennes is stuck with one of the lesser known of the writer's plays, the tale of an excommunicated Roman General who returns for revenge. The reason we haven't seen this on screen before is because it's simply not a very good story, there's little dramatic meat here. Fiennes relocates it to an alternate Rome which resembles the contemporary Balkans and shoots it like a "Call Of Duty" video game. Personally I would have found the original setting of ancient Rome more visually interesting.
Despite the presence of Gerard Butler the well-assembled cast are superb, Redgrave especially as Fiennes' psychotic mother. Chastain has given more great performances in the last year alone than most actresses will in a lifetime and here she performs with a confidence that is often lacking in American thesps when tackling this material.
Many actors have turned their hand to directing and been found lacking, Fiennes is but the latest.