Blog Post 1 — Victor Trevino — The Tempest
1. The Tempest is a somewhat vanilla betrayal story from shakesspear. There are about three main sub-plots having to do with the lust for power and the wilingness to decieve for these ends. First it is Prospero ousted from his dukedom. Then Antonio and Sebastian plot to kill Alonso and Gonzalo and finally Trinculo plotting to kill Prospero in his sleep. There is but one female character in the whole play I believe and shes pretty much a blowup doll. Theres an element of forgivess with how Prospero forgives Alonso but it all seems really adhoc.
2. The film began to grow into the pace of a Shakespearan play by the middle portions. Early on the such as the first boat scene was sort of awkward since dialogue was pretty much just regurgitated rather than acted, but as maybe the actors settled into the pace and cadence that is Shakesspear I thought the acting got stronger (with the exception of Chris Cooper, who was just awful).Before looking into when this movie was made I was sure it was made in the early 2000’s judging by how bad the special effects were, the addition of the CGI scenes such as anything with Ariel and the spirit hounds was extremely offputting.
3. The film did its best to recreate Shakesspear but it is difficult to bring heavy stimulous from wardrobe/setting/specialFX and try to mix it with dense Shakespear dialogue. The clash of the demand for the viewers attention just detracts from the experience as a whole. The gender swap of Prospero was interesting and necessary — The play certainly did not pass the Bechdel test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test
4. Roger Ebert: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-tempest-2010 — He pretty much asserts that Julie Taymore missed the mark as far as capturing Shakespears tone and meaning, but he does agree on the gender change of prospero and enjoyed Hellen Mirrens performance.
Sholomo Shwartzberg: http://www.criticsatlarge.ca/2010/12/waterlogged-julie-taymors-tempest.html — He claims the film “rarely comes to cinematic life” which I would have to #agree.
SI RosenBaum: http://thephoenix.com/boston/movies/112818-tempest/ — He really goes on a tear about the poor special effects, once again I feel like this is spot on criticism and just has to be said.
I want to piggy back off Rosenbaum because my main gripe with the file would have to be employment of CGI. Rosenbaum suggests: “Maybe if [Taymore] had stuck to puppets and masks [rather than CGI], the flesh and blood beneath them would have been more animated.” I just really could not agree more. The film felt cringeworthy in its exectution when it relied on CGI, in effect the script of the play was for no good reason competing with flashy visuals.
5. The film apadtion of The Tempest struggled in all the places you would expect of a Shakespear adaption and added more woes to itself with its own CGI budget. The fundamental leap from taking text to film is the visual representation of other wise simplistic or non exsistant imagery in the source text. The element of now showing instead of telling is the difficulty of going from text to film. The Tempest maybe tried to over compensate for the showign by planning to incooperate CGI for the supernatural elements of the play. The result was a removal of all things magical and left to the imagination in a shakespearan play and an insertion for a contrived and rushed pixelized version. Besides the difficulty with the CGI, the overall pace of the film had no rythm, since Taymore wanted to stay as faithful as possible to the play instead of interpreting and taking liberties, much of the scene juxtaposition just feels clunky and forced. When adapting a book to film there are important decisions that need to be made from the beginning on how you will capture a certain interpretation of the book, recreating a Shakespear and doing it absoulute justice is not just difficult, its also kind of pointless. Why recreate something that is already been done so well. The job of Taymore should have been to regimagine the play but I think she maybe was not bold enough break the play and ended up making a dud of a movie.