Titus [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
One is to produce it apologetically. To essentially say "Hi. Yeah. This is a Shakespeare play. It's not very good, but it's Shakespeare, so it must have *some* value, right? Sorry if you don't like it. We don't much, either".
The other is to embrace the play for all it's worth and try to squeeze every last drop out of what it has to offer. And such, it would seem, is the ethic of Julie Taymor.
Visually, "Titus" is superb and the casting is practically perfect. To rattle off a whole host of celebrities: Anthony Hopkins gives a world-weary battle-hardened eloquence to the title role, Jessica Lange is energetic and wonderfully evil as Tamora, Lennix plays Aaron with vigour and enthusiasm, Angus MacFadyen portrays Lucius superbly as the noble young soldier, Alan Cumming plays Saturninus with all the camp insanity befitting the part, Laura Fraser plays the part of Lavinia with exact distress and emotion the part needs and, in doing so, proves that she can actually act (which came as something of a surprise), James Frain does well as Bassianus, and Colm Feore, frequently overlooked in reviews, is superb as the noble brother of Titus, Marcus.
Sadly, Demetrius and particularly Chiron, played by Matthew Rhys and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers respectively, are less good. Rhys-Meyers seems to have only a vague impression of what his lines actually mean, and thus his interpretation of the part is not great.
The text is fairly heavily abridged, but so few people are familiar with the original text that Taymor easily gets away with it.
On the whole though, this is a really quite spectacular movie.Read more ›
The plot is notoriously bloody. Titus Andronicus has returned to Rome after successfully subduing the Goths, and he brings with him Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and her three sons as prisoners. Upon his arrival, and in spite of Tamora's pleas for mercy, he sacrifices Tamora's oldest son--but when Tamora's charms cause the newly crowned emperor Saturnius to crown her as empress, Tamora and her Moorish lover Aaron plot to destroy Andronicus for his refusal to show mercy to her oldest son. And the revenge they wreck is horrific indeed, as is the revenge Andronicus seeks against them in return. Before the story ends, we've seen rape, limbs lopped off, tongues plucked out, and two heads baked in a pie.
Given the outrageous nature of the story and the very loosely constructed plot and script, it shouldn't be a surprise that director Julie Taymor's film is not entirely successful. What IS surprising is that TITUS is as successful as it is. Coming from a remarkably strong theatrical background, Taymor follows suit with the script, giving it the most extravagant visual and highly theatrical style her limited budget will allow. When it works, it works extremely well; when it fails, which is fairly often, it is at least visually interesting.Read more ›
Titus Andronicus (Anthony Hopkins) has returned to Rome after great victories against the Goths. He has lost many sons in the battles but brings back treasure and his captives, Tamora, Queen of the Goths (Jessica Lange), and her three sons. He has the eldest slain, dismembered and burnt as an offering to the gods. Tamora, implacable, swears her vengeance on Titus. Saturninus (Alan Cumming), who has claimed the imperial throne, sees Titus as a threat. Saturninus is self-indulgent, cruel and sly. He takes Tamora as his queen and sets in motion his own betrayals. Off to the side is Aaron the Moor (Harry Lennix), a man with his own need to bring down everyone and who, for his own purposes, allies himself for a time with Tamora. And there is Titus himself, full of pride and righteousness, who endures tragedy that leads to the death of most of his remaining sons, the rape and mutilation of his daughter and his disgrace. He achieves a terrible vengeance on them all.
The movie is hugely melodramatic and overstated, and that adds to its fascination. Taymore has given it a wild, odd, lush, eccentric look that carries it over the top and back again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Astonishingly violent 16th century blockbuster.Archaic language but still easy to follow. Not one of Bill S best but a kind of attention seeking play brilliantly realised by a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by stephen turner
A brilliant interpretation of Shakespeare's darkest play. Anthony Hopkins, what to say about him. Only one word: Majestic ! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Donald
Well acted, entertaining adaptation, not stuffy or difficult to watch at all.Published 7 months ago by Crime Buff
When describing the film 'Titus', I refer back to Roger Eberts review, that it's admittedly over-the-top, but so is the original play. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Zoia Olubas