Having studied for an English degree, I’ve felt all ‘Shakespeared out’ for the last couple of years, tiring of the often pompous attitude supposed aficionados propagate. I tire too of the manner actors can adopt when performing great literary works: their all-too-apparent self-awareness often simply bores.
It is with relish then that I look forward to Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut, an adaptation of Coriolanus. Importantly, for me, Fiennes chooses to de-contextualise the play from its literary setting: shot in Serbia, the narrative takes place in a modern day warzone.
The film’s casting choices are both interesting and inspired: alongside the typical actors we would expect to associate with such a literary work, Fiennes’ film features performances from Gerard Butler, James Nesbitt, and most excitingly the immensely talented Jessica Chastain, excellent in both The Tree of Life and Take Shelter.
I can only hope that the trailer delivers upon its admirable promises: its setting and its choice of cast bring an immediacy to the proceedings, ensuring that Shakespeare is both relevant and accessible to those not formally connected with the literary elite.