Tag: Roland Emmerich


October 22nd, 2011 — 2:21am


Anonymous– sp- John Orloff, as an undergraduate was always interested in the question of whether or not William Shakespeare really wrote the masterpieces that have been attributed to him. Orloff pondered this concern during his time in film school and has been pitching various versions of this screen play for the past 15 years. Finally Columbia Pictures put up 30 million dollars (a relatively small sum) for this movie to be made under the direction of Roland Emmerich who is best known for elaborately staged blockbuster films such as Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, 10000 BC and 2012. This movie as you might imagine is a period piece with lots of 16th century costumes and filled with Shakespearian dialog (or dialog from whomever actually may have written it back then). The setting which encompasses  many streets, buildings including the famed Globe Theater and hoards of people appears quite authentic although they were mostly produced by the magic of computer technology and digitalization. The storyline is that Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford, (Rhys Ifans) was the original author but in his royal position he couldn’t acknowledge the nature of his writings. He secretly gave his written works to a young writer named Ben Johnson (Sebastain Armesto) who was too involved in his own budding literary works to want to take ownership or produce them. He instead passed them on to William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall), a journeyman actor  who also was sworn to secrecy but gladly took credit for them. Shakespeare who was far from a writer himself began to stage the plays which immediately received great acclaim. Vanessa Redgrave played Queen Elizabeth I and Redgrave’s own daughter (Joely Richardson) had the role of the Queen at a younger age. There of course were subplots and various intrigues including flashbacks in time.   Many fine Shakespearian actors were cast in this film which were a great showcase for their talents. At times we lost track where in time we were or who was who in the secondary characters. History buffs of this period of time as well as Shakespearian aficionados will enjoy the storyline and dialog respectively. Rather than solve  the age old authorship conundrum, in the end this movie made an all out effort to entertain us with a fanciful dramatic well acted story.

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

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