Sumptuously and elaborately staged, steeped in powerful symbolism and bordering on absolute brilliance, Julie Taymor's sometimes pretentious "Titus" flirts with becoming among the all-time best of Shakespeare movies -- if you can endure the stomach-turning violence.
Adapted from the Bard's "Titus Andronicus," a manifold tragedy that makes "Hamlet" look like "Ozzie and Harriet," the film stars Anthony Hopkins in the title role of a loyal Roman general returning from a victorious campaign against the Goths. It has cost him a dreadful personal price: 21 of his 24 sons were killed in battle.
He brings with him their bodies and five prisoners -- Tamora (Jessica Lange), the queen of the Goths, her sons (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Raz Degan and Matthew Rhys), and Aaron (Harry Lennix), a Moor with an evil streak as deep as the ocean -- and hands them over to the newly ensconced Emperor (a Hitler-esque Alan Cumming), who also asks for Titus' daughter in marriage as a sign of allegiance.
Continue reading: Titus Review