23 February 2001 | DrChills
Shakespeare's play: brought to a beautiful and other - worldly stage.
This is something that I just cannot seem to express. First: There is a love for the artistic sense of the movie. Does that outdo William Shakespeare's wonderful scripts? Perhaps (?).
It is one of my favourite things. To sit down and watch a movie, that wants to express so much more through the characters and their surroundings, than simply what they have to say through word and expression. When they themselves are an expression. For me, it feels like a `perfectionist's movie'. I get the sense that every person's face was chosen for their look and how it could help the character's personality that they are meant to portray. While still taking into consideration the competence of the actor or actress.
Every scene is constructed meticulously. Of course, I cannot envy quite so completely, the full out patience and exacting eye that it took to look at the creative genius of each idea. For every room, each building, each camera angle of the few rundown humble city sidewalks, made to contrast the elegance of the royalty, or to add to it's persona. These things are created like any other movie must create its sets. But for me it seems that they may have found the perfect camera angle to film whichever character's scene it was.
Perhaps I delve too deeply into these things, like some attempt at creating meaning for an accidental painting, but I cannot say that this was an accident. Nor should it be compared to one.
The director, Julie Taymor, found perfection in this movie. Although the idea of bringing a Shakespearean play up to date, is definitely not unheard of, this was still a first for me. The artistic beauty of it, was in finding the plot come to life on a surreal and ambiguous stage. Set in no time and no space. We are first presented with an unwatched child, reeking havoc on a cluttered kitchen table, covered in toys and particular action-figures that we will later realize, slightly resemble a portion of our soon-to-be-introduced cast. An explosion abruptly interrupts the child, and a man comes inside, smudged dirty and looking like something that reminded me of a `troglodyte' from the French film `The Delicatessen'. He bundles the young boy into his arms, and takes him down an unrealistically long flight of stairs, into an expansive old Roman coliseum, where our play then begins. You are left pondering the happenings of the film, and I myself thought at one point, that perhaps the entire thing was happening inside of this child's head.
Whatever the case, it was brilliantly done. The unthought-of effect, is perhaps merely the setting of the stage: bringing us from our world, to another. So that we might witness the story completely, out of ourselves.
I will say nothing of the plot. Accept simply, that it is far more gruesome than what you would general expect of William Shakespeare's plays. The gore was somewhat unexpected , and my love for the movie would falter here, if not for the shockingly horrific scenes maintaining that perfect form throughout, that I was so drawn to. I could enjoy both the visually stimulating scenes, and the stimulating script, as completely separate things. Put together they held me in an even more profound state of wonder and. celebration, for sight and sound.
An absolutely fantastic movie. Very well done. Well envisioned and well realized, well filmed, well acted. yes, very well done. Quite artful.