The citizens of Rome are hungry. Coriolanus, the hero of Rome, a great soldier and a man of inflexible self-belief despises the people. His extreme views ignite a mass riot. Rome is bloody. Manipulated and out-maneuvered by politicians and even his own mother Volumnia, Coriolanus is banished from Rome. He offers his life or his services to his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius. Written by
When Aufidius and his soldiers enter their base, all of the previously right-handed soldiers, including Aufidius, wear their thigh-mounted holsters on their left legs, indicating the shot has been flipped. See more »
Before we proceed any further, hear me speak. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?
First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people.
We know it.
Let us kill him. And we'll have corn at our own price.
We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians of good. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, our suffering, is a gain to them.
Let us revenge this with our sticks, ere we become rakes.
No more talking on it. Come!
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Shakespeare's most complicated tragedy set in the early days of the Rome Republic gets an updated setting in Fiennes' movie. Using story-telling techniques combining CNN, CSI, and YouTube along with images of street demonstrations, riots, and urban warfare, Fiennes gives us a Coriolanus befitting our times, clarifying how the titular hero can fall from national hero to banishment in a matter of minutes on the whims of a fickle populous easily swayed by political spin-masters. Still, the mamma's boy element of Coriolanus' tragedy remains intact.
Though significantly cut, the text is pure Shakespeare, even in the mouths of TV talking-head pundits. Spoken by the likes of Fiennes and Brian Cox, the verse lifts what could have been a gimmickry telling of Coriolanus into a five-star Shakespearean movie.
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