Coriolanus

Tuesday, September 27 th, 2016 at 00:09 am 

Coriolanus

JOY REVIEW

Coriolanus is one of William Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, and you can understand why. This one stars and is directed by Ralph Fiennes, who plays Coriolanus, and Gerard Butler, who plays his nemesis. It also has Brian Cox in it. It’s set in modern times, even though they’re speaking Shakespeare, and the story is that there are food strikes in Rome and the people are rioting, so the general has a successful campaign against the marauders. Gerard Butler heads the marauders, and the two of them hate each other and decide that they’re going to have a face off.  Coriolanus comes back, is successful, and is made a member of the Senate. Two of the senators are jealous of his powers, and so start to rouse the rebels against him because he won’t pander to the common man and say what a great guy he is and show his battle scars and whatever. So he’s actually banished and reunites with Gerard Butler who says, “let’s fight Rome.” Vanessa Redgrave plays his mother, and Jessica Chastain plays his wife.  Vanessa convinces him that he should go and make an appeal to the rabble, and that backfires. Then when he comes to say that he’s going to sack Rome, she goes out to beg for Rome and begs on knees — it’s an incredibly powerful performance. Setting it in modern day is really a great decision including fake Cannes coverage– it’s probably a little long, but this is a play that’s not one of Shakespeare’s beloved. Who even knows if Shakespeare wrote it, but it’s a great effort. Four stars.

JOY METER