Back to my movie staples: period drama, beautiful old-school historical costumes and a plot convoluted in a way that would make my inner geek happy. This was what Anonymous was to me, and with a tagline of ‘Was Shakespeare a Fraud?’, it was an instant to-watch movie once I saw the poster.
Starring Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and Sebastian Armesto, Anonymous tackles the story of what its tagline says so simply: what if Shakespeare was a fraud? The movie (directed by Roland Emmerich) explores the theory of the real writer of the plays being Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. We are shown up to what lengths he goes to ensure his anonymity, and his motives. Set against the succession crisis of Elizabeth I, the movie does not lack in drama, political intrigue and tragedy that would befit a Shakespearean work.
Really great film. I just loved it. The performances from its actors - Rhys Ifans, epsecially - were all so moving. Writer John Orloff’s treatment of the film was a bit confusing to get at first (with the flashback-within-a-flashback treatment) but it is the complication that makes it exciting to watch. Roland Emmerich also does not disappoint - the film was very beautiful. Costumes, of course, were beautiful beyond words, earning its costume designer Lisy Christl a nomination for an Academy Award.
A total recommend. Pity the cinema was only filled by what, 20 people when I watched it? Felt ashamed after, too - because there were no other people in the cinema within a two-row radius from us, my friend and I aired out our comments during the movie most probably for everyone to hear. Alas, we have become what we had loathed! :))