Friday, April 1, 2011

The Tempest

Director: Julie Taymor

Starring; Dame Helen Mirren, Ben Whishaw, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming,
Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, and David Strathairn

Those familiar with the Shakespeare’ play will recognize the plot with one major difference Prospero has become Prospera (the resplendent, Helen Mirren) the ousted Milanese noblewoman practicing the dark arts on a Mediterranean island. There she is kept company by Caliban (Djimon Hounsou), the brutish drudge, her spirit slave Ariel (Ben Whishaw), and beautiful daughter, Miranda (Felicity Jones). Hell-bent on revenge and return from exile, she conjures up a storm (the Tempest) which causes a shipwreck. On board is Prospera’s villainous brother, the current Duke, Antonio (Chris Cooper), and his venemous cohort Sebastian (Alan Cumming) as well as King Alozo (David Strathairn). Other crew members include the clowns, Trinculo (Russell Brand ) and Stephan (Alfred Molina) for a bit of comic relief. The movie does not lack special effects nor excellent cinema photography but this all seems out of place in a Shakespeare play where, ‘words are the thing, to catch attention of the audience.’ A bit of a mismatch, I fear and not for the purists.


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