I am not a Shakespeare fan so this story was unknown to me but it soon neatly unfolded with weird mother son connections and betrayal as one would expect from an Englishman’s pen.(I jest)
The story that we see is that of the soldier Coriolanus fighting to protect Rome from its enemies and then be rewarded by being put forward as the senate. At this point in the film I was beginning to sway (mentally not physically) as to if I would enjoy this, it started to dry up and the long rambling Shakespearean dialogue was beginning to take its toll as I would frequently zone out.
Then came along Jimmy Nesbitt. Have to say I was impressed by the full cast, some great performances but for me James Nesbitt really caught my eye and ear. The Northern Irish accent seemed to suit the Shakespearean dialogue so well and his sneaky role was played to perfection.
There then is a bizarre Jeremy Kyle style TV debate and it is decided that Coriolanus is to be banned from Rome. It all happened so quickly and some bizarre character changes happened far to fast but what happened next for me was the best bit of the film. We see Coriolanus as he is by himself heading to find his sworn enemy Aufidius. Throughout the film we have had close up shots of Coriolanus in battle or in anger showing his aggression, concentration and frustration but now we get wide open shots but beautiful delicate diegetic sound of footsteps and birds. This is framed by beautiful greys and blue as he walks through open landscapes and depicts his confused, lonely and betrayed character.
Coriolanus then gives his life over to his enemies and asks that he may seek revenge with them upon Rome. People come ask them not to, his mum, wife, son and cleaner arrive, crying talk of wombs etc and then he decides to sign a peace treaty. Its all very nicey nicey. Oh yeah and then he gets stabbed to death by the men he had just fought along side. Thee End.
Overall as I said before a brilliant cast and was only disappointed by Jessica Chastain who plays her role as Coriolanus’s wife perfectly but it is pretty much the exact same role as Mrs. O’Brien from The Tree of Life. The loving caring wife who does no`t say to much and always seeks to impress. She is perfect for it but would like to see her in some different roles. I haven’t seen her in much else though so should not be tough on her, great actress.
Over all great film, misleading trailer which literally has used only the dialogue that is not Shakespearean to make it seem a bit more relevant. The violent and gruesome scenes could be cut back a bit, no need really and they do not show some beautiful cinematography and instead focus on the fighting side. Id give it a solid B+. Trailer is below give it a watch and let me know what you think.