CoriolanusHD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
Caius Martius 'Coriolanus' (Ralph Fiennes of HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE, THE ENGLISH PATIENT), a revered and feared Roman General is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave of HOWARDS END, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus' anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler of 300, ROCKNROLLA) to take his revenge on the city.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 136
- Fresh: 126
- Rotten: 10
- Average Rating: 7.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The film has fifth-act problems, as did the play, but Fiennes' bleak overview should leave receptive viewers feeling daunted and haunted.
Fresh: What remains, in distilled form, is the poetry of violence and contempt-the source of the play's unfailing reputation for political threat and mischief.
Fresh: You buy the concept, from start to finish, because it feels strong and purposeful and in sync with Shakespeare's own vision of a malleable, fickle populace and a leader raised by the ultimate stage mother.
Fresh: In his first film as a director, Fiennes proves that he knows Fiennes the actor inside out, with a self-knowledge that's rare, even admirable.
Its a great example of the world today, microcosmically speaking, if thats a word. Underrated. Suits controlling the world through greed, fear and weakness. Manipulating the masses for their own benefit and security and leaving those leaders, the ones who know victory AND defeat, alone, left to wander and die - alone. It seems loyalty isnt rewarded anymore, because most dont know what they want, nor what they dont want. All they think is that its safer to ride in the middle; never standing apart, and never standing alone. Its a great movie. Shakespeare is brilliant. And not meant for the cowards.
I think Shakespeare would've been proud...
This is an immediate and visceral production of this play.
Coriolanus brims over with pride, bloodlust, and patriotism. And we are forced (by Shakespeare's words and Ralph Fiennes brilliant performance) to see him as human, and relate to him.
It is a disturbing reminder of how little has changed over thousands of years that Shakespeare's telling of this ancient story could still be so relevant...
If you must modernize Shakespeare...
…this is the way to do it. I think Fiennes did a brilliant job of radically adapting Shakespeare's play into a movie. Shakespeare's themes about democracy and fascism, militarism and patriotism and factional war are certainly relevant today. Moving the story from ancient Rome to the modern Balkans was a very smart idea. Cutting the characters' speeches to the core was another. No, it's not Shakespeare's play anymore, it's an edited adaptation that works pretty brilliantly as a film. With a few odd exceptions, all the acting is first-rate. Fiennes, Redgrave and Brian Cox are excellent. Fiennes borrows a few ideas Baz Luhrman pioneered in the overhyped Romeo + Juliet and improves on them. Really, my only fault with the movie is Shakespeare's -- despite some great speeches and individual scenes, this isn't his most thoroughly worked-out play, and the whole love-hate brothers-in-arms relationship between Fiennes' Coriolanus and Butler's Aufidius is too sketchy for the whole tragedy to hang from convincingly. But all the stuff between Coriolanus and the People of Rome is hair-raising. One of the very best modernized Shakespeare adaptations I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. I hope Fiennes turns to one of Shakespeare's better plays in the future.