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Whenever there is a movie, based on a William Shakespeare play, getting released, that is being placed in modern time, I'm not exactly running out to see it. It just too often comes across as weird, out of place and pretentious to me. But with this movie I really had no issues with this at all.

It's still definitely a bit odd, hearing all these people speak old fashioned and pretend to be in ancient Rome, while they are obviously not and carry difficult names, like Coriolanus and Aufidius. No, it's not a typical movie but then again, no one that will watch this movie will expect this movie to be an usual one. It will mostly attract the Shakespeare lovers any way, who are perhaps also already very familiar with the story, that isn't exactly Shakespeare's best known works.

But by saying its not one of his best known works, I don't mean that it's also one of his lesser ones. It's actually a very intriguing story about power and politics with dozens of great characters in it. The fact that it's all taking place in modern times adds a whole new and different dimension to it as well. It also makes it obvious how some of its themes are still relevant in today's world.

It's true that the movie does has its slower moments in it with its story, especially in the middle but I must say that the movie overall did a really good job at giving the movie a lot of pace, with its editing and camera-handling, without letting any of this go at the expense of its story.

The movie really has lots of great moments in it, that mostly come from its story and the actors acting it all out. This was obviously a project Ralph Fiennes had a lot of love and passion for. He did not only direct and produce this movie, he also is the main lead. And he definitely gives all he got! He does not hold back and deliciously goes crazy and gets truly intense to watch in his role at times. But he also gives all of the actors actors plenty of room to shine. You perhaps wouldn't really expect Gerard Butler to see in a Shakespeare movie but he is simply a good actor, that plays his role well. Also truly impressive were, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox and James Nesbitt. Even when you are not really grabbed by its story, you will still get sucked into this movie by the powerful performances, of all of the actors.

It's not always an easy movie to watch with its story, old fashioned dialog and many characters but it was a movie I absolutely got grabbed by and enjoyed every minute of, thanks to its universal and timeless themes, characters, actors and just its overall style.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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