Watched “The Tempest” ( 2010 ) on DVD a few months ago and am just now getting around to blogging about it.
Directed by Julie Taymor and featuring Helen Mirren as Prospero – make that Prospera – and Felicity Jones as her daughter, Miranda. Rounding out the cast are Djimon Hounsou (Caliban), Russell Brand (Trinculo) along with Alfred Molino (Stephano) offering some comedic moments, and Ben Whishaw (Ariel).
The opening scene of the shipwreck was cinematic enough, but large swaths of the film seemed too static with only the dialogue carrying the scenes along (yes, it is Shakespeare, but it’s also cinema). Felicity Jones’s hairstyle ( or lack of one) was somewhat unflattering, but having been stranded on a remote island lacking anything close to resembling a hair salon, it makes perfect sense. I guess Prospera was too busy conjuring up the tempest and manipulating events to conjure up a decent do for her daughter.
Hats off to Julie Taymor for having the courage to bring The Tempest to the screen, to Helen Mirren’s fine portrayal of Prospero/Prospera, and for Djimon Hounsou for breathing life and humanity into Caliban.
Factoid: Forbidden Planet (1956) featuring Robby the Robot shares a few similarities in characterization and plot with the play.