The Tempest (2010)
Critic Consensus: Director Julie Taymor's gender-swapping of roles and some frenzied special effects can't quite disguise an otherwise stagey, uninspired take on Shakespeare's classic.
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as Prince Ferdinand
as King Alonso
Critic Reviews for The Tempest
Dispensing with tableau compositions, this adaptation feels liberated from static theatrical and, to a lesser degree, cinematic convention by the overall openness of its staging and camerawork that's somewhere between handheld and Steadicam.
The film has plenty of detractors who see Taymor's approach as strained and overwrought, but Mirren finds some grace notes that no Prospero could ever have sounded.
The special effects are intrusive and anything but magical and the text is rather curiously edited. But it's worth seeing for Mirren.
Mirren is a powerful presence: maybe gender-bending Shakespeare is the only way to give Mirren the movie roles she deserves.
Audience Reviews for The Tempest
This one is hard to keep up with because of languaged used, old english. Has a good plot. 3 stars
Once the Duchess of Milan, Prospera(Helen Mirren) has suffered through twelve years of exile which have done little to lower her ire at those she finds responsible. One day, she takes revenge by casting a spell through the sprite Ariel(Ben Whishaw) that capsizes the boat Antonio(Chris Cooper), the new duke, is traveling on with King Alonso(David Strathairn) of Naples, amongst others. Her teenaged daughter Miranda(Felicity Jones) manages to assuage her anger just in time. So she has them desposited safely on a beach somewhere on the island, with Alonso's son Ferdinand(Reeve Carney) arriving safely elsewhere. Now, with that all done, Caliban(Djimon Hounsou) would like to file a complaint... If all Julie Taymor had brought to this version of William Shakespeare's venerable play was its great look, impressive design and Helen Mirren, it would have gone a long way towards putting this definitely in the win column. Sad to say, she doesn't stop there, going overboard on the visual effects.(Just remember that the play is the thing.) Putting together a great supporting cast is usually a very good idea in cases like this. But here, it verges on stunt casting in a couple of prime examples and Taymor does little to rein them in, throwing the movie off balance in the bargain. That having been said, I now believe that Chris Cooper would fit in well no matter what movie he appears in.
Apparently very well made. Apparently very wonderful actors. Apparently Shakespeare was a genius. Apparently I just don't understand it....and I tried for an hour. I was lost....