An odd mix of parts that are incredibly watchable, and flourishes that fall flat---Helen Mirren does a great job, and her performance really makes the film, but some of the other actors feel like they're drowning in the cinematography, and the score (what's with those guitars?) is as erratic as the acting.
Really wanted to enjoy this more than I did. I find Taymor's Titus to be outstanding but here, her magic only seems to muddy the story. The performances from Mirren, Hounsou,and Wishaw for me were the standouts with the rest of the cast either only playing a single note or barely distinguishing themselves from other characters. It is certainly a watchable film but is not in the pantheon of Shakespearean adaptation.
I liked Ben Whishaw's Ariel. He was an unholy cross between an ancient dryad and a dragqueen. Russel Brand kinda ruined it for me, he shouldn't be allowed to make movies. There were some cool visuals but overall it just didn't work, it always happens in Taymor's films, she has all the right ingrediants but when she brings them together everything falls apart
I sort of get the idea of making Prospero into Prospera, and Helen Mirren is probably the only one who is even worth paying attention to, but the movie is probably the weirdest adaptations of Shakespeare I have ever seen. Just a bunch of cool effects and Russel Brand is just weird.
Don't mean to burst anyone's bubbles, but this film is ATROCIOUS. Saw earlier in the festival circuit. This is coming from someone who always feels Taymor deserves a second chance and really loves Titus but WOW. Had hopes it would be a return to something exciting but instead we got what is easily one of the worst films of the year.