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NEW Fiennes/redgrave/butler - Coriolanus (Blu-ray)

Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.57
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly realized July 7 2012
By Gayle Gibson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Ralph Fiennes' production of Shakespeare's Coriolanus is just about perfect.
This is a hard, cruel play about men of war and about how war shapes individual men and whole cultures. This version sets the play in modern dress in an Eastern European theatre with ruined apartment buildings and damaged villages. This does real justice to Shakespeare's themes by showing us what the world looks like and feels like to a hardened general like Coriolanus; men fight with knives and machine guns, not glorious swords that can distract us with their glamour. There is no glamour here.
Gerard Butler is perfect as the Enemy Leader,Coriolanus' equal and opponent. Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia shows all the best of the British acting traditions. Fiennes himself seems simply to be this military man, hard-as-nails, passionate if not profound in his thoughts and feelings.
Coriolanus has never been one of Shakespaere's greatest hits, but it is one of his best and truest. In it, he shared some of his darker thoughts about humanity and the true nature of heroism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
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This is a film adaptation of William Shakespeare's (1564 to 1616) play of the same name, written circa 1608. (The play itself was written during Shakespeare's greatest period, 1599 to 1608). This movie is also the directorial debut of actor Ralph Fiennes (who also co-produced).

Even though this movie is based on a "Roman" or "political" play, serious viewers will discover that it so much more. I found that it stayed with me long after I saw it.

This movie is set in a modern day version of Rome. It is essentially the story of warrior Caius Marcius (note that his last name is derived from the Roman god of war), later Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whose honour, pride, and sense of social rank essentially dominates his life and interferes with his ability to function effectively when he's not on the battlefield.

One of the great attributes of this movie and the play is that it does not have many characters and thus is easy to follow. The major characters are as follows:

(1) Caius Marcius Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes): a valiant warrior and patrician (nobleman) with a non-overbearing wife. "A soldier to Cato's wish" and a modest hero who "hath deserved worthily of his country" but who lacks tact and refuses to placate "the mutable, rank-scented many."
(2) Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave): his overbearing mother. "In anger, Juno-like."
(3) Menenius Agrippa (Brian Cox): "a humorous patrician" and an old and true friend of Coriolanus who is trusted by the plebeians (lower class).
(4) Comenius (John Kani): a fellow general of Coriolanus.
(5) Sicinius (James Nesbitt) and Brutus (Paul Jesson): tribunes or representatives of the common people or plebians and Coriolanus' political enemies. "A pair of strange ones.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Version June 13 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This film is extremely powerful and wonderfully acted. For those who have not read the play, there are lots of twists and turns so the ending is not obvious, unlike as in some Shakespeare works. Even if you have read the play and know what happens the unfolding of events is so (spoiler alert) painfully, clearly, delineated that the title character's ultimate downfall and the attitudes and behavior of the supporting characters are really beautiful.
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