• Coriolanus demonstrates brilliantly how well Shakespeare can be adapted to a modern context, with the setting allowing for sharp commentary on the political situation in the Balkans. As the innumerable modern revisions of Shakespeare have shown, it is astonishing how universal the themes the Bard tackled are, and Coriolanus is no exception: the turbulent politics and the conflict between the aristocracy and commoners of Republican Rome translate extremely well to the modern setting, and there are more than a few echoes of the Occupy movement in the plebeians’ criticisms of the patricians.

    • The play, one of Shakespeare’s longest, has been edited down considerably to fit into a two hour run time, but the resulting increase in pace fits the modern setting very well. While I do wish it had been longer so the characters and their motivations could have been explored more, there’s never a feeling that material has been left on the cutting room floor. Coriolanus is an extremely refreshing film; not a stately Roman play, but a raw, fierce, exhilarating take on one of the Bard’s least known works.

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