Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Devilish Farce.

Shakespeare is perhaps one of the most famous and brilliant English literary figures ever, yet the film Anonymous would have us believe that he was a complete fake. Instead the Earl of Oxford (Edward De Vere) was supposedly the one who penned the poetic masterpieces; a British nobleman who couldn't help himself and lived in an era where people of his stature weren't allowed to write such pieces of literature. I know very little about the man, and much of his work is unknown to me (although I am partial to Macbeth) so I cannot debate that. The rest of the plot that is purported as history however is very, very dubious. I don't know why this film was conceived; why would anyone really want to subvert Shakespeare as the real author of the works he wrote. The history in the film was wrong, but I leave the conjecture of Shakespeare to people who study British literature. Rhys Ifans' performance as the Earl of Oxford was quite delicious, yet his character had very little room to grow due to an overcrowding of secondary characters. Sebastian Armesto as Ben Jonson played a man who was heavily conflicted about being the man pawned off the genius' work to the idiot who took all of the credit. Enter William Shakespeare played by Rafe Spall who portrayed him as a drunken, illiterate and greedy individual; to say that I found his character repulsive was putting it mildly. You definitely do not come away liking Shakespeare in this film. One of the problems of the film was that it would go back and forth between the present time in the film and the past. I don't want to spoil the story so I will not elaborate, but I shall say that the villains in this film are quite....villainous. William Cecil (David Thewlis) and his son Robert Cecil (Edward Hogg) come off very cold, calculating and quite despicable. Excellent villains to be certain; wanted both of them to burn. So while the Earl of Oxford is watching his plays performed in another man's name, Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave is dying and an heir must be chosen. The Earl of Essex (Sam Reid) is a favorite of hers and wants the throne which his friend the Earl of Southampton (Xavier Samuel) is willing to help him get. Never before have so many intrigues and plots promised to spoil royal precedence. Joely Richardson plays a young Queen Elizabeth, Jamie Campbell Bower plays a young Earl of Oxford, and even Derek Jacobi makes an appearance as the narrator at the beginning and the end of the story. Roland Emmerich directed the film and did a good job, and even the screenplay written by John Orloff was relatively well done. I suppose the fact that there were so many historical inaccuracies that it bothered me throughout the entire film; make no mistake this film is a true Shakespearean tragedy. The cinematography by Anna Foerster was really astounding; I loved the shots, the grit of London, and how the interior shots were maneuvered as well. The entire film was shot exquisitely well. The music by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander was forgetful; there are two pieces of music I remember from the film and they were both composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was a good film, one that earns an "Admirable Ability." There was something severely lacking from the story, screenplay, and depth of characters. I don't like conspiracy stories or theories at all, but this could have come off more than just that if they had worked a little harder on the screenplay. Oh well; it was enjoyable, but you wont cry if you miss it. Spoke to my father today and he just bought himself a 30 foot boat; should be fun to play with come next summer depending on where I am in the world. News is remain dreadfully depressing, but I am still looking for something in the news that is uplifting. I'll find it. September is almost gone. Halloween is just around the corner. I love candy.

Anonymous Trailer

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