Skarach's world

Coriolanus

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I seem to be in a Shakespeare mood at present. First, the Globe Henry V, then the ongoing Richard II\Henry IV Parts I and II\Henry V films on BBC TV and now just having seen this Coriolanus film. I knew the play before I saw it. I would make a guess that it is generally less well known and regarded than the other tragedies. Coriolanus appears to be an unsympathetic character – at times aloof and angry. But, he also endearingly eschews praise for his actions in war.

This film – acted and directed by Ralph Fiennes – locates the story in an alternate reality where the Roman Empire continues to the modern day. I thought it worked well, just as the Ian McKellen film version of Richard III did. There is a touch of Black Hawk Down in the battle scenes! Not for the first time on screen Fiennes is quite terrifying in certain scenes where Coriolanus loses his temper. I was interested to see that the screenwriter was also a co-writer of Gladiator – it never occured to me before (although doubtless it did to others) that that film has some things in common with Shakespeare’s play. The rest of the cast – including a well known British news journalist –  is solid. Enjoyable, and thus, recommended.

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