Volume 3, Number 8, Page

The OUMMCBNOM Movie Review

	Welcome to the OUMMCBNOM Movie Review.  Today we will be considering a movie
version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, starring Marlon Brando as Mark Antony
and a few other people whose names we cannot at the present time recall as
various conspirators, in the title role, and as the wives of characters.
	Hopefully, by reading this review, you can avoid the mistakes that we have
made.

	Julius Caesar appeared to have lost the attention of the class our critics
watched the movie with within the first 10 seconds, when it became apparent
that the film was not in a dazzling array eye-catching hues, but rather in
black and white.  Those members of the OUMMCBNOM Movie Review team that
stayed awake past the opening credits eventually regretted their decision.
	One flaw in the movie was that the director or some similarly powerful
person attempted to add little touches to Shakespeare's play to make it a bit
more heart-wrenching, a bit more dramatic.  This did not work.  The ten
minute scene of horses galloping failed to make our hearts race as it must
have been intended to do.  The discovery and subsequent tossing to the ground
of Lucilius' broken instrument did not make us recall fond memories of the
songs he had sung to Brutus.
	However, the in the attempt to add more a bit more Hollywood to Caesar, the
dramatic events Shakespeare had already provided were given little attention.
	Caesar's assassination, for instance, seemed more like a few friends patting
him of the back than stabbing him with daggers.  Caesar himself lacked the
aura of power and confidence that readers of the play might have imagined him
as having.
	We were also upset to find that a great deal of the play had been cut,
presumably to allow time for the aforementioned horse scene.  The discussion
before the battle, the murder of Cinna the poet, the end of Portia's speech
(we are certain that there were more cut speeches than this, but a member of
our Movie Review Team happened to be familiar with said speech), a suicide or
two in act five, and the last line of the play were among the items deemed
extraneous.  We do not mind the idea of treating the play as a "living"
thing, changing it as is seen necessary, but this play had too many parts
amputated to be able to survive as its original form did.
	Also detracting from Shakespeare's text was the music used.  There was
nothing inherently wrong with the music, but it was used for all types of
occasions.  The same music was heard whether an occasion was happy (well, let
us say not unhappy;  it is difficult to find a happy occasion in the play),
full of tension (or at least intended to be), or tragic.  To be blunt, it
really started to get on our nerves.     Despite all this competition, the
death scenes would have to be named the movie's worst component.  Not one
(and there were plenty) passed without giggles erupting from the audience.
	While this does reflect upon the maturity of the audience, the Movie Review
Team (members of which were among the giggling party) believe that the fault
lies more in the portrayal of the deaths, generally consisting of a few quiet
words (in heroic couplet, of course), a lovely squishing noise representing a
sharp object entering the body, and a dramatic plop to the ground.
	We must admit that the actors' interpretations of their roles, although not
generally wonderful, were a considerable improvement on the interpretations
offered by students in an English class which would like to remain anonymous.
	The lines could indeed be better understood when the people saying them knew
what they meant.  We were, however, very impressed with the performances of
the Plebeians, who resisted the temptation to say all of their lines in
unison with each other as a certain nameless English class did.
	All in all, the OUMMCBNOM Movie Review Team was disappointed.  We had
expected to see the characters we had spent so long reading about come to
life (and subsequently die).  We thought perhaps the movie would provide a
new, fresh was of looking at the play, but instead found that much of what we
liked about the play had been taken out, only to be replaced with what we
dislike about movies today.  Our recommendation is to read the play instead.


Previous Page | Next Page | Index