Ralph Fiennes, 2012.
John Logan’s script for Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus is, like the film, robust, muscular, tremendously masculine, and uncompromisingly contemporary. Set in a place calling itself
Rome, it is full of Brutalist concrete
apartment blocks, empty streets, protesting citizens and power-hungry
policiticans and power-brokers. As Coriolanus himself, Fiennes has the menace,
the gravitas and the unnervingly steely gaze of the once-popular general gone
bad. As his nemesis Aufidius, Gerard Butler also has the menace and requisite
air of danger about him, and in their confrontations, you really do believe
they could quite easily kill each other. Filled with muted colours and steely
concrete greys, browns, army-fatigue greens and lots of mud, ice and dirt, it
is a brutal look at the power that corrupts, corruption that empowers, how hard
it is to fight to be heard, and how easily things can go wrong. Again, it’s not
a film for the purists, but it is an intense, muscular and thrilling film, pared
down with considerable skill and flair by Logan,
without losing any of Shakespeare’s humanist touches and flourishes.