Monday, April 17, 2000
My friend Kurt and I went to see Titus, a film based on the Shakesperean play “Titus Andronicus.”
Kurt mentioned the film at Lorie's baby shower and since he has the week off (being a high school English teacher and this being Spring Break) he asked if I wanted to go see it.
Sure, why not?
I started reading the play the night before, but only got about halfway through Act II. The language is particularly difficult and it was often hard to determine how the lines should be delivered. Seeing Shakespear is better than reading it.
It's not one of Shakespear's better plays, but it may very well be his bloodiest—discounting Titus' 21 dead sons at the start, the body count is twelve.
Why yes, it is a Shakespearean tragedy where everybody dies. Not only that, but Titus kills one of his sons in a fit of rage. His daughter has her tongue cut out and hand chopped off after being raped. Titus cuts his own hand off in a cruel joke. The Emporess' two sons are killed, cooked and served to her as dinner. A nurse is killed to keep secret the birth of an illegitamite baby.
And the style of filming was very unique—blending Classical Rome with the Swinging 20s and an indeterminate future setting. Sounds odd but it works in the film.
And Anthony Hopkins as Titus and Jessica Lang as Tamora were excellent. Well worth seeing if you can.