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 »
In Julie Taymor's version of 'The Tempest,' the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect. Written by
Let's face it - Shakespeare's plays are wonderful. But they were written in an age when the Bard wrote them for the stages available then - like forums and village theaters. The scope and power of the projected screen as well as the acts recorded to be played over and over again in space and time - would have been a totally alien concept to Shakespeare. Here the makers of the film - especially Julie Taymor - deserves credit for having made this difficult transition with such effective ease. The scenes come off pretty natural and very well acted. Also the transformation of Propero into Prospera was intriguing when I first heard about this movie. But it came off very convincing - almost as if Shakespeare wrote it that way himself. I was just wondering why Taymor chose to do this though! Helen Mirren was her superb best. Djimon was excellent as Caliban. I saw him in the movie "The Island" earlier and found he does deliver his best in challenging roles. All other actors did their part very well. I would recommend this movie to Shakespeare buffs. Don't expect too much from it as Shakespeare certainly did not write action plays. But it was time well spent.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?