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Anonymous


New job in combination with being sick means I haven’t watched movies or had the energy to write about them. I’m feeling a bit better so I’ll give you a quick one here. My hopes are to continue with about four reviews per week. We’ll see how successful I am with that goal though. Anyway, Anonymous:

Grade:

Did Shakespeare actually write his legendary works, or was he in fact a dimwitted, illiterate imbecile played by Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Shaun of the Dead)? Apparently, it was the latter, as the Earl of Oxford Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans) was the lyrical mastermind behind some of the most famous plays in history. That alone wouldn’t keep your interest for over two hours so the politics of the time are thrown into the fray. Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave) and her close advisors, the Cecils (David Thewlis and Edward Hogg), ban the writing of plays because she listens to everything the pair say and they are, I guess, disturbed at how aroused the Queen gets from listening to the plays’ dialogue.

First things first, the sets and costumes of Anonymous are pretty amazing. They build the time period well and seemingly stay true to some historical facts. Then, Rhys Ifans continues his ascent into “awesomeness” by making De Vere by far the most likable character in the film. Apart from these two aspects, there are no real positives to the film. Everything else is completely middle of the road or unnecessarily complex.

The scenes acting out the now-famous plays are interesting as we see how they potentially affected the townspeople before the Essex rebellion. The idea of using words as the most dangerous weapon is brought up throughout the film and is an intriguing prospect, especially during a time when many of the commoners were uneducated.

With such a bold tagline as “Was Shakespeare a fraud?” you’d think the film would be as bold and enthralling, but sadly that is not the case. Anonymous is by no means a bad film; it is simply forgettable. You’ll most likely become bored during the middle and finish the film wondering what’s next in your day without giving a second thought to what you just witnessed. A tragedy, indeed.

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