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94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best filmed Tempest to date (though that's not saying much)
Let me say right off: I am a total Bardolator. I teach Shakespeare, I am obsessed with Shakespeare, I have read and seen all the plays, and my love affair with the Bard began with seeing a live performance of The Tempest in 1975. It was pure magic. I also love movies, and I believe that in the 21st century, filmed versions of Shakespeare's plays are probably the best way...
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by J. C. Bloom

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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All the infections that the sun sucks up from bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him by inch-meal a disease!
It's the same old story: A young mother with the unusual name of Prospera who has a four-year-old child is cheated of her inheritance when her husband dies and her greedy brother forces her to leave, penniless, into the rough world. She grows strong, self-reliant and determined. As she thinks about her fate, sulphurous resentment bubbles even as she bends her new life to...
Published on 19 April 2012 by C. O. DeRiemer


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4.0 out of 5 stars In the Eye (& the Ear) of 'The Tempest', 19 May 2014
This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
Julie Taymor is undoubtedly a talented director with a skill for interpreting the texts of Shakespeare. 'The Tempest' is a feast for the eyes and the ears by all accounts. From the performance of Helen Mirren to the tremendous musical score, this film does not disappoint.

Although in the original text Propsero was the male protagonist, this adaptation chooses to recreate the character in the form of Helen Mirren's portrayal of Prospera. This creates a struggle between genders while accentuating the fact that Miranda is unfamiliar with men, thus giving further credence to her reaction to Ferdinand in the first act. A daring and interesting reinvention which overall, I felt complemented the narrative of the film. Mirren's performance is unyielding in its steely resolve and hidden compassion.

The cast is splendid and each role is filled superbly, from Russell Brand's Trinculo, to Alfred Molina's Stephano and Djimon Hounsou's Caliban, each actor gives a worthy performance, however the performance of Ben Whishaw as Ariel stands apart in its singularity and elegance. It is often difficult to convey a spectrum of emotion in a supernatural manner, however Whishaw does so with an eerie ease. A young thespian with a glowing future ahead of him.

Although the performances are undoubtedly striking, so too is the musical score and lyrical melodies of the songs within the text are masterfully re-imagined in this highly original adaptation. The songs and poems which Shakespeare wove into the text of 'The Tempest' are brought to life in a contemporary yet fitting way, so much so that I saw it fit to hunt down the soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal.

The directing, acting and scoring are all superb, however I could not help but compare the film to Taymor's paramour, 'Titus'. While 'The Tempest' is an intriguing tale, I feel that it lacks some of the depth and substance which is brought to full and gritty realisation in 'Titus'. There are themes and subplots which are touched upon but left at somewhat of a loose end, and while there is resolution, it lacks the definition which Shakespeare's greatest tales possess. While being a master of his craft, his scripts are open to interpretation and adaptation and where in some instances in 'The Tempest', Taymor vividly adapts and adds flesh to bone, I feel that it is not done to the extent as it could have been in this particular film.

While not the best film I have seen from this splendid director, it is still one which i would highly recommend to film and Shakespeare enthusiast alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Approach, 6 May 2014
This review is from: The Tempest (DVD)
Having seen the traditional staged production and heard the varied media reactions to this film I was left with some doubts as to what had been done to Shakespeare's drama. However I am really glad to have watched this version. Helen Mirren made the part of Prospera so acceptable one tended to forget the change of gender and she was well supported by other cast members. The scenery and special effects really enhanced the dialogue. Well worth viewing this DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance., 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
if you like Shakespear and you like Helen Mirren then you will enjoy this film. As always, she is brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent film, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
this is an excellent adaptation of the tempest. Helen Mirren is a wonderful lead and the rest of the cast are equally good. the filming makes interesting use of light and shadows, enhancing the mystical qualities of the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super., 20 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this in the cinema and the production was good enough for me to want to buy the. DVD. Helen Mirren and all the others do a fantastic job.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite work, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
Sorry, doesn't quite work for me....great cast, interesting premise, imaginatively filmed, evocative location - but it does not quite hang together.....watched it and now moved on. Definitely not one to keep but pleased I've seen it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Tempest, 7 Nov 2013
By 
Peter Clynes "Peter C" (Worthing UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
I was dubious about the lead part being played by helen Mirren when is was written as a male part. But it worked well and I enjoyed it and will watch again
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very good in parts., 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
Helen Mirren as Prospera was excellent and brought out some aspects of the character strongly; Caliban was wonderful and most of the other characters well played. But the setting and the special effects I found too distracting and artificial; and surely Prospera, with all that magic at her command, need not have clothed her daughter in well-dressed rags and done something about her hair? I know the impression she created was one of unsophisticated and appealing innocence – but still . . .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic - Well performed., 28 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
A classic production very well produced. directed and performed by all the stars in its cast. another good one for Graham's collection. We have enjoyed it very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic adaptation of the classic play by William Shakespeare, 22 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tempest [DVD] (DVD)
Prospera, once the Duke of Milan and sorceress now reigns over a faraway island, living there with her daughter, Miranda. After 12 years of being abandoned she has an opportunity for revenge. However the ships may bring more than she planned on.

It is impossible to have lived in the cinematic world and not come across any the other productions by Julie Taymor. With each of her productions she does not copy but enhances the originals in a unique way. In this case we have quite a few deviations. However as long as you are aware of the original play you can appreciate the deviations. Prospero is replaced by Prospera (Helen Mirren) one of the greatest actresses of our time. Julie's approach is different but does not go off the deep end and re-create a whole new story; as the story is just enhanced by dynamic technology and cinematic capabilities not available in earlier productions. And naturally a mother daughter story will have some different outlook than a father daughter story.

The only drawback is the curt runtime forcing some reduction in dialog and addition of references.

Added plusses of course first include Helen Mirren. Also the location (various untraded locations in Hawaii) is perfect. The underwater or through water scenes gave an ethereal feel.
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The Tempest [DVD]
The Tempest [DVD] by Julie Taymor (DVD - 2011)
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