Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Alfred Molina
Ben Whishaw
Djimon Hounsou
Felicity Jones
Helen Mirren
Jeremy Irons
Russell Brand
Chris Cooper.
Directors
Screenwriters
Julie Taymor.
Running Time
110 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

The Tempest
Live long and Prospera


submit to reddit


Plot
Prospera (Mirren), an exiled noblewoman with magical powers, conjures a storm to lure a ship onto their remote island home, hoping to find a suitor for her daughter. By chance, among the shipwrecked crewmen is her brother Antonio (Cooper), the architect of her downfall, offering Prospera an irresistible opportunity for revenge.


Review
The Tempest
Browse more images »
Shakespeare and Disney make strange bedfellows, notwithstanding its recent involvement with Gnomeo & Juliet. But when you’ve made an ailing Hollywood studio a billion dollars, as Taymor did by adapting The Lion King for the stage, you sometimes get a ‘golden ticket’ opportunity to do Whatever You Like (Within Reason, or rather, Under Budget). Julie Taymor, who followed her startlingly assured biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with an imaginative adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and oddball love story Across The Universe, uses her carte blanche to return to the source of her first theatrical production: Shakespeare’s tempestuous tale of shipwreck, sorcery, love and revenge — like Lost, but written by the Bard.

Taymor’s take is intended as interpretative rather than definitive, and so it proves: for a start, she switches the central role’s gender, so instead of Prospero the over-protective father, we have ‘Prospera’ (Helen Mirren) the overbearing mother. It’s a brilliant conceit, the gender switch lending Prospera’s betrayal an agreeably apposite whiff of patriarchal sexism. And Mirren is on formidable form.

Bringing various Shakespeare texts to the screen between 1989 and 2006, Kenneth Branagh assembled eclectic casts and generally made them work; Taymor’s skill in this regard is populating her film with actors who, with one exception, give the impression that no other casting was possible. Russell Brand and Alfred Molina as the drunken double-act, Trinculo and Stephano? Djimon Hounsou as the bestial Caliban, and Perfume’s Ben Whishaw as an ethereal, androgynous Ariel? Chris Cooper as the serpentine Antonio? Yes, please! Only Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker in Taymor’s ill-starred Spider-Man musical Turn Off The Dark, lets the ensemble down, unable to hold his own among such sterling company, or even his scenes with Miranda (Felicity Jones).

Although marshalling 21st-century special effects to depict what Shakespeare managed to conjure with language might be seen as gilding the lily, Tempest has just the right amount of visual pizzazz, from the imaginatively low-key effects work, to Sandy Powell’s spot-on costume design, and the landscape itself (privately owned island Lana’i). As arresting, diverse and wildly unpredictable as the text itself.


Verdict
Taymor’s winningly cast, imaginative take on Shakespeare passes the test of bringing the Bard to film. It may also be the only PG Disney film to contain the word “Fuck”.


Reviewed by David Hughes

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Tempest
Empire Star Rating

Is it just me, or does the idea of Djimon Hounsou, the only black actor in the cast, playing Caliban, Prospera's subhuman slave, not carry with it just a wee whiff of racism? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JamieNC at 16:13, 08 March 2011 | Report This Post


3 or 4 Empire?

Why has the magazine given this 4 stars and the website credits it with only 3? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Good_Film_Hunting at 10:44, 05 March 2011 | Report This Post


3 or 4 Empire?

Why has the magazine given this 4 stars and the website credits it with only 3? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Good_Film_Hunting at 10:44, 05 March 2011 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)