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The Tempest (I) (2010)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 4,987 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 32 user | 82 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Shakespeare's epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female.

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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

staff | spirit | banishment | sorcery | island | See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

11 February 2011 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

A Tempestade  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$42,436 (USA) (10 December 2010)

Gross:

$263,365 (USA) (18 February 2011)
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Company Credits

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The decision to switch the gender of the lead character was a diving board to a whole new appreciation of the play. It had everything to do with Helen Mirren and a coincidental exchange that Julie Taymor had with the actress. When Taymor encountered Helen Mirren at a party, she had already envisioned Mirren in the role and their conversation cemented her decision. "We were talking Shakespeare," Taymor recollects, "and she had no idea I was planning this film when she mentioned that the first Shakespeare she ever did was Caliban in 'The Tempest,' and she actually said to me, 'You know, I could play Prospero-as a woman.' And I said, 'Do you want to? Because I've been preparing a film version of "The Tempest" with exactly that in mind.' And, fortunately, she said yes." See more »

Quotes

Caliban: Hast thou not dropped from Heaven?
Stephano: Out of the moon, I do assure thee.
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Connections

Featured in The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

O Mistress Mine
Performed by Reeve Carney
Music by Elliot Goldenthal
Lyrics by William Shakespeare
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User Reviews

 
Lacklustre effort
27 April 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Shakespeare's last play The Tempest tells the tale of a sorcerer Prospera and her daughter who have been cast off and banished and find themselves on a barren island where she takes Caliban as her slave. Many years later she creates a tempest to wreck the ship carrying those that banished her and the survivors of the ship find themselves on the island including the kings son who falls for Prospera's daughter. Throw in a spirit slave who helps Prospera bring the newcomers to her and the slaves of the King who side with Caliban to destroy Prospera and you have a real blend of genres.

Julie Taymor brings another Shakespeare play to the big screen after her magnificent version of Titus. The Tempest is really a blend of drama, romance, fantasy and comedy and with it's supernatural and magical elements it's quite a story to bring to the big screen. Changing the lead of Prospero to a female role, makes little difference and Helen Mirren as Prospera is very good, but performance wise she is the only standout with the rest of the cast going through the paces; and casting Russel Brand as the jester does not bring enough light relief and makes me wonder since when did Russel Brand become an actor? Taymor tries to makes this as natural as possible, but that's difficult to achieve with it's fantastical elements and many of the these moments fail, including the spirit Ariel, whose appearances are like Caspar The Ghost and only when he appears as a sign of madness to the king and his men as a dark ominous bird does the fantasy finally work. The film also feels stilted at times and for something that contains so much fantasy and magic it feels for the most part bland and dull and bad use of music, much of which sounds like something from a bad rock music doesn't help achieve anything.

Interesting use of landscapes and Mirren's performance are worthy elements but that's not enough to redeem the film, which with Taymor at the helm doesn't work nearly as well as her previous efforts.


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