UTR: Corialanus (2012)

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Joe Giambrone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Shakespeare set in modern times, this film might remind people of the 1995 Richard III, set in a fascist World War Two scenario. Here the war is modern and messy, but the language is the original play. It’s an odd discordant meshing of new and old.

I hadn’t known the story of Corialanus and didn’t know what to expect. Some interesting twists of fate, and even more interesting visuals reminiscent of the Arab Spring or street battles in Greece, make this an interesting experience to take in.

Ralph Fiennes, who starred and directed the film, plays a Roman general so fanatical in his bloodlust and drive to conquer that he has become a bit of a monster. When it comes time for him to enter the world of Roman politics he falters. The elites of Rome, of which Corialanus is a member, consider the common people as sub-human scum. While other Patricians easily lie and mislead the rabble, Corialanus is far too proud and arrogant to hold his tongue. He winds up in hot water.

Then comes the big twist of the story’s midpoint.


The visual style has really made this 400 year old story accessible and relevant. Revolution by the people, elites who despise the commoners, dictators, politics, fascistic militarism, worship of the soldiers, that Shakespeare guy was well ahead of his time. Aspects of the story fit seamlessly in with the tanks and shock troops.

Corialanus on Netflix.

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