I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (29) - Titus

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week there is a new category of adaptation to blog about. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let them know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An Awesome Shakespearian Adaptation
Title: Titus
Adapted from: Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

So I usually don't like violent, disturbing films and I would normally never have watched this movie, if I had not been on an Alan Cumming kick and had to watch all his films.  Even though there are so many parts of this movie that are definitely very disturbing, I can't help liking all the crazy.  It's not a film for everyone because it's highly stylized, graphic and apparently since it's one of Shakespeare's early works, it's not such a great play, but it is a very powerful story of revenge.

So about the highly stylized part. Director Julie Taymor does several interesting things in this adaptation, by showing how modern Shakespeare's Roman tale of love and hate is. If you immediately realize that the story is timeless, it doesn't matter that the film doesn't seem set in a specific place and time.  There are many anachronistic elements such as cars and arcades, yet Roman pillars and buildings, while in the very beginning of the film, a modern young boy is playing with toy soldiers, when real Roman soldiers blow up the room and take him into their world. It's a highly fascinating, visual style that can sometimes keep your mind off the violence... almost.

The actors in this film are just superb - the action mostly revolves around Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Harry Lennix's characters, but the supporting cast are equally talented at bringing this dark story to life.  I think the other reason I am so impressed by this movie is because the actors make the emotion of it so real.  It's so disturbing and awful (I'm talking rape and torture and cannibalism here), and yet the message of the story is so powerful and thought-provoking.  Despite best intentions, people do terrible things, and in this film almost every one indulges in their baser nature and pays for it. But thankfully there is hope in the end.

This film isn't for everyone, but if you feel like taking a chance on something that will make you feel uncomfortable and emotional and will make you think, and you like Shakespeare, I think you should check this movie out!

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  1. It sounds good..though I know the play so I might not enjoy the violent aspect!!

    1. Yeah, if you liked an actor or two in it, that might be a better incentive for you!

  2. I watched this after reading Titus Andronicus and it was absolutely as horrifying as the play. A bit too Much for me. That Shakespeare could be a pretty sick dude!

    1. It is a very crazy movie - and sometimes very difficult to watch. It's definitely not the kind of films I like to watch on a regular basis!

  3. I remember watching this when I was researching some of the characters in Titus for a Librivox recording (one that, if memory serves, I totally failed to actually do). Alan Cumming is rather wonderful in it and I think it is visually quite striking. Great pick! :)

    1. Aw, that's too bad you didn't get to record it! I was impressed by a lot of the actors in this - Colm Feore and Laura Fraser were great too! I'm glad you liked it a little bit, cause I know this is an odd film for me to have enjoyed so much. :D