The Tempest [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
As a literature professor who has been teaching The Tempest for a decade now, I have always been singularly bemused by the lack of a filmed version that really captures the magical spirit of the play. The old TV Richard Burton show is well-acted but silly, the BBC version has great actors but terrible, flat production values, Prospero's Books is brilliant but incomprehensible to all but those who know the play intimately, Derek Jarman's version is terribly dated and, despite being a good "film," just doesn't work as The Tempest, in my opinion. The other, "scholastic" releases are plagued by poor production and/or undistinguished acting. And I won't even bother with "adaptations" of the plot, such as Forbidden Planet or Cassavettes's Tempest.
Until this version, the only truly excellent version of The Tempest was the HBO animated one, but at 25 minutes, not much of Shakespeare's story remained intact.
Just last week I had the great pleasure of seeing Julie Taymor's The Tempest in London. It was absolutely amazing. The magic was there! The acting, for the most part, was brilliant.Read more ›
If you're the same, then you can relax - this is brilliant, and I wish that Mirren & Taymor would do some other Shakespeare plays with Helen in the (strong, male) lead. Aside from a few minutes in the very beginning, where I thought the verisimilitude of the storm interfered with actually being able to understand what the actors were SAYING - there weren't any problems with either the language or being able to follow the plot.
Despite changing of the gender of the lead character, all the other elements we expect from Shakespeare remain intact: elevated, aristocratic figures bickering over their positions or inheritance, a love story featuring the younger generation of characters, a comedic subplot running alongside the primary plot, etc. And the acting was great top to bottom - those who weren't aware that RusselL Brand could actually act will be very pleasantly surprised, and we get the amazing performances we expected from the "known" names. Reeve Carney comes off least well, but that is the fault of the character having so little to do (and most of THAT being to look attractive and moon over the young woman).
All in all, I was very happy I was able to catch this in the cinema, and can hardly wait until I'm able to own a copy.
Helen Mirren is actually (Who can deny it?)one of the three best actresses in the world. She chews the whole show all the way through. But additionally the narrative rhtyhm never decays. Taymor (The Lion king and Titus, proves by far how domains Shakespeare's nerve) never abuses of the visual effects (dislike many of her colleagues).
And the outcome could not be more succesful. One of the best twenty films of the last year. No doubt it and go for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly entertaining version of Shakespeare's play. Helen Mirren was terrific as the exiled duchess/ magician, and Russell Brand was a hoot as the drunkard. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Mr. Customer
Best Tempest I've ever seen - actually understandable! Brilliant!Published 1 month ago by Anna M. Haskell
This is an amazing adaptation of The Tempest; the acting (particularly Mirren's) is wonderful. So is the setting (the island), the sets, costumes, and cinematography. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CR
I adore this version of The Tempest. I should just buy the disc as I will be watching this over and over again.Published 3 months ago by B
Read A.O. Scott's review of this movie...that's very accurate. Couldn't even finish it.Published 3 months ago by Tobi
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