Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Tempest (2010 Movie Adaptation)

The appropriation I went with was the 2010 film The Tempest, directed by Julie Taymor. I have seen Taymor's works before (more specifically Across the Universe) so it drew my attention. The film follows the same plot as the play by Shakespeare with the only major difference being that Prospero is now Prospera, played by Helen Mirren. From the trailer and the articles written about it, it seems that the script is almost identical to the original with only a few minor changes, and the actors are able to make the lines pop and flow as they would back in the day.

By having Prosero become a woman, it changed the story to be a more interesting dynamic. Antonio, the brother of Prospera, now accuses her of killing her husband (The Duke) with witchcraft in order for him to receive her title. This then casts Prospera and her daughter out to see in exile. 

As stated in the New York Times review of the movie:

"When the character is a woman, a central relationship in the play, between the magician and her doted-on child, Miranda, sheds some of its traditional, patriarchal dynamic. Instead, a mother-daughter bond fraught with envy, protectiveness and identification blossoms into something newly rich and strange."

It has been a long time since I have heard the story of The Tempest so I do not remember all the details enough for a proper comparison. Plus I haven't seen the film. However this movie has peaked my interest and I plan on watching it sometime soon. I guess what's so striking is how easy it was to change the gender of a character and how just that one move impacts the whole dynamic of the relationships seen.


Global Shakespeares article and trailer link

New York Times review of the movie

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