Shakespeare's stuff has been so overdone that creating chaos is all there's left to do.
After sitting through three hours of this crap, I understood completely why "Titus Andronicus" is considered one of Shakespeare's lesser plays.
Evidently, the Bard was something of a racist. There's one Moor, Aaron (Harry J. Lennix), in the film, and he gets blamed for everything. Titus's (Anthony Hopkins) daughter Lavinia (Laura Fraser) gets raped and her hands chopped off by Tamora's (Jessica Lange) sons Chiron (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and Demetrius (Matthew Rhys). They blame the Moor. Are your sons getting charged and executed for the murder of Emperor Saturninus's (Alan Cumming) brother, Bassianus (James Frain)? Blame the Moor. Queen Tamora having a baby that looks like the model for an overaggressive Coppertone ad? Blame the Moor.
I don't know how much of the story I can explain, but let's just say that a lot of shit happens. Basically, there's a lot of revenge going on. When Titus comes back from the war, Tamora plots revenge on him for killing her eldest child. Then, Titus plots revenge on her after learning what exactly happened to Lavinia, who has her tongue ripped out along with the other maladies. I don't want to give anything away, so let's just say that "Titus" gives new meaning to the words "meat pie."
Did this film need to be three hours long? Of course not. There's this little kid (Osheen Jones) running around early in the film and it's not revealed until much later that he's Lucius's son. You spend at least half an hour wondering who the hell he is and why doesn't he get out of the way. Director Julie Taymor mixes all this weird stuff together: cars, guns, crossbows, medieval armor; five centuries of images. She's either schizophrenic or Shakespeare's stuff has been so overdone that creating chaos is all there's left to do.
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