This film is an adaptation of the Shakespeare play "Titus Andronicus." Titus returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family. Who says revenge is sweet?
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
Nicola Pecorini was the original cinematographer on the project, but shortly after production began, he left due to creative differences with director Julie Taymor. Taymor had originally offered the job to Luciano Tovoli but he had had to turn it down as he was shooting Deceit (1999) at the time. After Pecorini left, Taymor again contacted Tivoli, who was now free and who agreed to come on board. See more »
When Aaron speaks saying: "Come on, my lords, the better foot before: Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit Where I espied the tiger fast asleep." His actually says "panther" as opposed to "tiger" (as is written in the original play). See more »
O handle not the theme, to talk of hands, Lest we remember still, that we have none.
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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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