Prospero, a potent magician, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He's in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence ... See full summary »
Prospero, a potent magician, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He's in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence brings these enemies near; aided by his vassal the spirit Ariel, Prospero conjures a tempest to wreck the Italian ship. The king's son, thinking all others lost, becomes Prospero's prisoner, falling in love with Miranda and she with him. Prospero's brother and the king wander the island, as do a drunken cook and sailor, who conspire with Caliban, Prospero's beastly slave, to murder Prospero. Prospero wants reason to triumph, Ariel wants his freedom, Miranda a husband; the sailors want to dance. Written by
The Tempest has been interpreted in many different ways ranging from more or less traditional views as dealing with Art to more post-modern approaches that like to dissect the play along post-colonial, feminist, gender or deconstructionist lines. The reason why Jarman's version left me fairly cold is that I didn't have a clue what he was on about. What is the underlying vision/idea/concept behind this rendering of Shakespeare? The previous reviewers do not get much further than revenge tragedy, punk show, but surely there is more to it, isn't there? This is not to say that there is no vision here, just that I was hard put to discover it. Be that as it may, there are still things to enjoy. The punk flavour is refreshing and funny. Toyah Wilcox as Miranda and Jack Birkett as Caliban are wonderful. I did not much care about Williams as Prospero ... not enough magic I suppose. The switches between the old monastery/castle and the (very English) world outside can be a little unsettling at times, but I guess that is intentional. All in all, interesting but not quite the success I had hoped it might be (particularly after seeing Jarman's Caravaggio).
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