War begets revenge. Victorious general, Titus Andronicus, returns to Rome with hostages: Tamora queen of the Goths and her sons. He orders the eldest hewn to appease the Roman dead. He declines the proffered emperor's crown, nominating Saturninus, the last ruler's venal elder son. Saturninus, to spite his brother Bassianus, demands the hand of Lavinia, Titus's daughter. When Bassianus, Lavinia, and Titus's sons flee in protest, Titus stands against them and slays one of his own. Saturninus marries the honey-tongued Tamora, who vows vengeance against Titus. The ensuing maelstrom serves up tongues, hands, rape, adultery, racism, and Goth-meat pie. There's irony in which two sons survive. Written by
First time I saw this film was in Nepal. In a hotel in Kathmandu. It was filmed inside the cinema; the picture was corny, the sound was phony, and the show was cheap...-)
However it left me in such a state of exaltation that I had a hard time leaving the hotel back room. And I was not to be found withing myself for hours thereafter.
Not that it is necessary, but I had already read Shakespeare's first play (titus andronicus) from which this film hath been made. However, I never liked the story, never found its beauty. T'was about Rome and a Roman war hero returning home to find politics going awry; also, it is Shakespeare's most brutal play. But it never got to me. No beauty, only random killing; I liked his later works much better.
Until I saw this film!
Directed by a very able woman, Julie Taymor, the pictures are intense in colours and framing, and the acting is equally intense (Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins against each other). Furthermore the film is BEAUTIFUL while projecting the malice of a - in many ways - vanquished father.
At one point Lavinia, the daughter, stands in a ...... No - Better you see it for yourself! There is so much horror, yet so much beauty in this film that you would never believe it came from Hollywood.
Hair rising from the back of my neck while walking from my seat.
Lumps of saliva unable to be swallowed.
And adrenalin still surging through my mind for days thereafter although I was placed in beautiful landscapes.
I bought this film as soon as I got home from Nepal. Right away..!
I rate this film 10+. And I would do so 4 times again, if I was able to. It's a must-see for those not yet dulled by the hollywoodification of common film standards. Especially if you fancy horrific beauty.
Gilbert Ipp, DenMarque
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