The Tempest William Shakespeare qualifies for principal writing credit. But this aloof, spectacle oriented adaptation of The Tempest — theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end… The Tempest William Shakespeare qualifies for principal writing credit. But this aloof, spectacle oriented adaptation of The Tempest — theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end… Helen Mirren
Movie Review

The Tempest

ISLAND IN THE SUN Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou in Julie Taymor's reimagined version of The Tempest
Image credit: Melinda Sue Gordon
ISLAND IN THE SUN Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou in Julie Taymor's reimagined version of The Tempest
EW's GRADE
B-

Details With: Helen Mirren

William Shakespeare qualifies for principal writing credit. But this aloof, spectacle oriented adaptation of The Tempest — theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end cinematically inert — clearly reflects the authorship of myth-loving director Julie Taymor (currently preparing for the Broadway opening of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). Taymor repositions Shakespeare's mysterious story of magic, revenge, and forgiveness on a strange island by turning the play's vexed sorcerer, Prospero, into a sorceress, Prospera, played by Helen Mirren with moody feminist authority. The fragmented feeling of the production is amplified by the welter of performance styles among the other players, including Russell Brand (cheeky) as the castaway Trinculo, Djimon Hounsou (indecipherable) as the slave Caliban, and Ben Whishaw (mercurial with a touch of the androgynous) as the spirit Ariel, who does Prospera's bidding in the hope of gaining his freedom. B-

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Originally posted Dec 08, 2010 Published in issue #1133 Dec 17, 2010 Order article reprints
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