Also funny that the version I like the most is the STC one rather than the British versions. Hiddleston is just too young to fit the role, no matter how hard he works, and the key turn in the character at the end was not good or convincing, at least in the version that was filmed. The Fiennes version was pretty impressive and had the best Volumnia by Vanessa Redgrave, but the politics sort of confused me --- maybe that was my own fault.
I wonder if, in early 1600, the audience was a lot more predominantly in favor of the militant and dictatorial Coriolanus than people today, especially Americans. The people of 1600 England had never been taught the sacred "democracy" in school. Modern audience are probably a lot more uneasy about the heroic Coriolanus, given how his macho and combative stance contradicts today's social values. But there are many curious contradictions in the play, from femininity dousing masculinity to democracy tempering violent dominance. I wonder if men instinctively side with Coriolanus in his struggle against both democracy and his mother. "Damn women! Damn parliament!" But today's male viewers would probably too polite to say it. By this parallel, Shakespeare seems to make a comparison between democracy and femininity.
Side note: I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by Mark Gatiss playing Menenius. Beautiful timing and shifts in tone.
|Coriolanus 2011 (Fiennes)|
|Coriolanus 2014 (Hiddleston)|