Michael Almereyda’s latest offering, gritty crime caper Cymbeline, premieres tomorrow at the Venice Film Festival. So, to tantalize those of us unable to pop to the watery metropolis, two new videos have landed online; a new trailer and the first clip. Based on one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, it’s already bagged the mystique of the unknown. Meaning there’s less chance of offending literary toffs.
A modern day retelling with a reputable cast, the story lifts from Shakes’ typical go-to themes. Love, loss, revenge, betrayal, poisoning, bludgeoning, and of course, car chases. Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:
King Cymbeline, leader of the Briton Motorcycle Club, clashes with the corrupt Roman Police while his radiant but disobedient daughter Imogen fends off assaults on her honor and her life. Cymbeline’s wife and her son aspire to take over the king’s empire, and Imogen’s marriage to Posthumus is undermined by sinister interference from Iachimo, a malevolent stranger. Shakespeare’s timeless themes are love and betrayal, revenge and forgiveness, death and renewal.
The couple of clips show the updated urban American landscape for the flick. It’s a little odd watching Ed Harris spouting the flowery verbosity of Shakes whilst manhandling an automatic rifle. Still, not all modern day versions are like 10 Things I Hate About You. Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing operated via the same mechanism – using the original text while updating the surroundings. I wasn’t keen on that, and I’m not sure if it’ll work for Cymbeline. The trailer gives a brief look at what to expect, but again, if you’re not up for decoding the language and you’re going on visuals – it looks like a crackin’ New York gangster flick.
Starring Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Anton Yelchin, Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Dakota Johnson, Bill Pullman and Penn Badgley, Cymbeline opens in Spring 2015.