The Tempest, Julie Taymor

the tempest

It takes you a modicum moment, to sink into the tempest; while the roaring  storm troubles a plodding ship to Italy. The opening scene is like any other ship-wreck, sailors and boatswain pumping out water and praying to the Lord for mercy and deliverance from Evil.

The music and the story pickup, when you see Miranda running towards her mother, Prospero. ( I knew Elliot Goldenthal, the music director  has just entered the movie).

Prospero is played by Helen Mirren, a-tragedy-struck-power-wielding-character; and she does justice to every celluloid moment.

She delivers the following concluding lines of the story in at atmosphere of anger, roaring fire, turbulence, suffering, jubilance and ultimate compassion; calling forth the entire life that was there all around the island:

 Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,

And ye that on the sands with printless foot

Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him

When he comes back; you demi-puppets that

By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,

Whereof the ewe not bites, and you whose pastime

Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice

To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,

Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm’d

The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,

And ‘twixt the green sea and the azured vault

Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder

Have I given fire and rifted Jove’s stout oak

With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory

Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck’d up 

The pine and cedar: graves at my command

Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let’em forth

By my so potent art. But this rough magic

I here abjure, and, when I have required

Some heavenly music, which even now I do,

To work mine end upon their senses that

This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,

Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,

And deeper than did ever plummet sound

I ‘ll drown my book.”

It made me   feel, how will magic realism look on screen; but ok, this is more than magic realism, it’s magic itself.

The role of the spirit Ariel has been crafted well in the story, while he runs around on the sand, in the sea or in the room.

In most of Julie Taymor’s films, she is dabbling with the same cast; Alfred Molina, Russell Brand through Frida and Across the Universe.

The scenes where Prospero is talking to Miranda , about their woe is touching and the gentle-innocent-looking Felicity Jones will inspire anyones love and affection. Prospero has carried out the role with  the depth and flamboyance that a tragedy needs.

Also, the  parts where Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban are heading back is hilarious and brilliant. It is also a reason, why you need to watch this film; tragedy and humour, two opposite emotions are very well brought out.

There is a scene where Prospero, is discussing with Ariel , her favours to him. The scenes washout  from her cellar to a jungle; such amazing use of frames.

Hats off, hats off, hats off 🙂



P.S: The film is an adaptation of the play by William Shakespeare