Wednesday, 25 January 2012


I’d half hoped that the cinema would be full of annoying teenagers who had seen the trailer for a Gerard Butler war movie and would be confused and disappointed when they realised that it was in fact Shakespeare. Alas this wasn’t the case as there were only five people in the screening and I was the youngest by a good twenty-five years.

I hadn’t seen the play so I was new to the story and was gripped from start to finish. First time director Ralph (don’t call me Ralph!) Fiennes choice of setting the play in the modern day is inspired. The story works perfectly within its setting and has the look and feel of 1990’s Yugoslavia. The direction is very good considering it is Fiennes first attempt while Barry Ackroyd’s Cinematography is apparent. This in particular helps add a thump to the battle scenes.

In quieter moments it is the acting that is bought to the fore. Fiennes Coriolanus is powerful and arrogant while Vanessa Redgrave gives a superb performance as Coriolanus’ mother, Volumnia. I left the cinema impersonating Fiennes monotone voice and speaking in pig-Shakespeare language.

I’m glad I got to see Coriolanus and look forward to Ralph Fiennes future directorial features.   


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