Monday, 28 May 2012

24/05/2012: Anonymous [2011]

So Anonymous blipped onto my radar sometime last Christmas with a visually appealing trailer, although the subject matter didn't exactly draw me in. But then after a couple more glimpses, it disappeared and I thought it fell off the radar. Then, to my surprise, I saw it was showing on the movie network. Many times that can be for the best, although Anonymous definitely didn't deserve to fall completely off the timeline in the first place.

Now, I'm going to be honest and tell you that I did not enjoy reading Shakespeare nor will I likely ever. First, why do we read plays? They are meant to be acted. Secondly, reading Shakespeare is always like learning a new language, and I was glad to see that Anonymous was smarter than to try an tackle the entire movie in Shakespearean English. That was one of the smartest moves the studio could have done. As for the actual story of the movie. It is of course the most intriguing part of it all.

Anonymous made that few blips on my radar through its trailer. The trailer first of all was quite a nice CGI masterpiece, and with the question it posed, it made one good marketing campaign. I think that whether or not you like Shakespeare, everyone has heard of him, and anyone who went through school in a few countries has undoubtedly read a couple pieces of his work. I for one have read Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet and as little as I enjoyed them, they are unfortunately ingrained both in my head, and those of millions of others. So, what if the famous William Shakespeare didn't write any of it?

Beside contributing heavily to the English language, Shakespeare also invented crowd surfing.

That is the question Anonymous poses of us. I do believe that there is a legitimate theory which postulates this but I haven't looked into it and nor do I really intend to. This is about as far as I go analyzing whether this movie is completely fictional or infact one of the greatest conspiracies ever. Honestly, I don't care to much, but it does make for one hell of a great story, and that is all I wanted, to be entertained. If you want something accurate there are many documentaries and whatnot beside this movie made for entertainment and money.

So, with all the fuss aside, how good of a movie is Anonymous. Honestly I'd say it was pretty damn solid, and one hell of a story. It is filled with secrets, and political turmoil, a few good murders, powerplays, spies, incest, conspiracies and in the end, I would say it is a tragedy Shakespeare would have been proud of. I felt the story was very true to the tradition of Shakespearean storytelling, but as one uneducated in this department maybe some expert would like to argue otherwise. Either-way I thoroughly enjoy the story told in this movie, whether true or not.

I'll be honest, the Earl looked pretty badass with that beard.
As for the rest of the movie, well the cast did a good job. Shakespeare himself was a bit annoying, but I think that was intended. Rhys Ifans does a fantastic job though as the Earl of Oxford, the true author of Shakespeare's works. Honestly, I forget the rest of the characters names, and that was probably the hardest part of the whole movie. Like any movie I watch juggling timelines, a multitude of characters at different ages as well some similar appearances and confusing names, I tend to lose track of who is who.Oh well I figured it out, and all the performances were good.

Like the trailer promised the set and visuals were quite good. Both the physical sets as well as what must have been CGI looked great, although probably better than things actually looked. I'm not sure exactly how everything looked in the 17th century but all the frills and vest and whatnot were how I imagined people dressed back then. Oh well, I couldn't give a damn for this movies historical accuracy, we all know liberties were taken.

Is anyone game to draw a nice family trees for this movie?
So after falling off my radar and then suddenly appearing again, I must say Anonymous was quite the bit more than I expected. unfortunately, I don't think it was as popular as it might have been. The historically accurate audience who wanted something non-fictional will definitely be disappointed while those of us simply seeking entertainment value should enjoy this solid period tragedy. I'm not to sure how true Shakespeare fan liked the movie, but if you're a fan feel free to inform me.

Anonymous IMDb

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