Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse (2017)
Dir: Phyllida Lloyd | 120min | UK | Drama
Phyllida Lloyd’s rises to the challenge of filming The Donmar Warehouse’s all-female Julius Caesar production and she certainly pulls it off, allowing audiences everywhere to enjoy this audacious Shakespeare production. Not only only do we enjoy a ringside seat, but Lloyd ingeniously arms her cast with iPhones and adds her own inventive twists in the form of a drone that allows the action to be viewed from overhead, adding a touch of stealth and intrigue to the live event not only only making it feel as fierce and real as it did on the night, but dding value into the bargain – at half the price.
The film benefits from world class actors: Harriet Walter never shrinks from being gutsy in her performances and manages again here to evoke the butch manliness of Brutus,; Jade Anouka’s Mark Antony is restless and mercurial and Claire Dunne’s Octavius stands her ground in a powerful turn.
As the production reaches the final scenes, the camera draws us to the betrayal and deceit and Walter proves to be a fiery foil for Martina Laird’s Cassius, helped by the intimate stage lighting and the close proximity to their facial contortions reflecting exhilaration, anguish and the touching vulnerability of disappointment. Shakespeare fans and the arthouse crowd will certainly relish this inventive and cinematic version of the play. MT
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