"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Titus

06 Apr 2002

Anthony Hopkins is Titus

This is the kind of adaptation I just love. It's big and loud and very very stylish. If you absolutely hated Richard Loncraine "Richard III" with Ian McKellen, then you'll really loathe this film. It's got blood and guts and 1930's era Italian Fascists and enough panache to make it look easy as winking. When I came out, I had felt as if I had been knocked down to the ground and kicked in the stomach by a series thugs who rotated amongst themselves when fatigue set in.

It was great.

Anthony Hopkins is Titus, the returning hero, General of the Roman army. When he is asked by the Senate to appoint a new emperor, his must choose between the simpering and pandering Saturninus (Alan Cumming), and the calm and apparently reasonable Bassaninus (James Frain). This being Shakespeare, you can be sure that Titus chooses poorly. When Saturninus takes the captive Goth queen Tamora as his wife, it's party time in Ancient Rome, but all the while she is plotting her revenge. Things are about to go quite poorly for Titus and any character that has enough lines to be given a name. Very properly, the story ends when everyone who is marked for death dies.

For his work in this film, I am prepared to forgive Hopkins for "Instinct", a mostly stinky film he squeezed out in 1999 that would have been greatly improved had the film projector jammed. This is some nice work, Sir Tony; I hope there are no hard feelings.

CanCon is provided in this movie by Colm Feore who plays Titus' brother Marcus with his usual aplomb. Harry Lennix plays Aaron with understatement (it's all relative, of course) that lends his character a malevolent sheen without being completely despicable. Of Laura Fraser, who plays Lavinia, Titus' daughter, one can only make deep throaty noises. Mmmm.

Related Sites

Titus (Official Web Site)
Titus (IMDB)
Richard III (IMDB)