Coriolanus ★★

After the ‘90s trend of transporting Shakespeare’s plays to modern day reaped mix results, from the good (Romeo + Juliet and Macbeth on the Estate) to the poor (O and Hamlet), it is a good few years since we have witnessed a successful modern interpretation. Sadly, I am unconvinced Coriolanus is it.

Corialanus is not a play I was familiar with and after seeing this adaptation I can see why it hasn’t been brought to the screen before. It certainly has a timely and timeless quality to it, the way Fiennes places it in a modern, war torn and divided city works reasonably well and the early going has an appealing visceral quality, but the film is at times torturously boring. I love Shakespeare but I struggled to be remotely engaged in this tale and I am unsure if it is down to the source material or its execution. All the performances, bar the reliably crap James Nesbitt, are strong but it is only Vanessa Redgrave’s character (that of Coriolanus’ mother) that is particularly interesting. She is a manipulative and driven woman brilliantly played by Redgrave and it is a shame the rest of the characters rarely come alive on screen. Despite the film only being two hours it easily felt twice that length - a failed experiment or a fool’s errand to begin with? Only those that are familiar with the text can tell me.

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