Thursday, January 26, 2012

#271: Coriolanus

In Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes plays the title role of a man without fear, a brave commander for whom Rome's sovereignty is of paramount importance. His mother, Vanessa Redgrave, plays a lady frail in appearance but not in will, someone who is proud of the manner in which her son conducts himself. The bonding between her and Coriolanus serves in setting not just the tone for the film but also in defining a critical plot point in the second half. The tenor of the relationship is intense and so is the film and with that one word as his guiding light- "intensity"- Ralph Fiennes playing the role of a son, a husband and a warrior captures everything that's good about Coriolanus.

On the filmmaking end of it, John Logan, the acclaimed writer of stories such as Gladiator and The Aviator is in fine form as he weaves one of Shakespeare's relatively unknown tales with perfection. The storytelling is swift but passionate. Logan's script in the able hands of Fiennes who also directed the movie is complemented by an unflinching dedication to the character of Coriolanus. And it is this single-mindedness of the story that serves the film well. Gerard Butler as General Affidius isn't bad either though his is mostly a supporting act. An imposing background score by Ilan Ashkeri keeps reminding us that this is a film about strong values like honor.

At 124 minutes, Coriolanus is a riveting action-drama that doesn't overstay its welcome. It boils steadily but surely and leads on to a climax that is one of the strongest in recent times. All in all, its a film that deserves a watch and how !

Rating: 7.6/10

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