Revenge, obsession, and the morally ambiguous aristocracy are targets of this adaptation by director Alex Cox of the 17th century dark comic play Revengers Tragedy, written by Shakespeare contemporary Thomas Middleton. The vindictive and mentally unstable Vindici (Christopher Eccleston) has returned to the grimy streets of a post-apocalyptic Liverpool in order to attempt to bring ruin to the ruling family led by the Duke (Derek Jacobi). The Duke was personally responsible for the death of Vindici's fiancée ten years previously when the woman would not yield to the Duke's sexual advances. An opportunity arises for Vindici's vengeance when the Duke's youngest son is accused of raping the wife (Sophie Dahl) of Lord Antonio (Anthony Booth) -- one of the Duke's courtiers. When the Duke's son is acquitted of the rape charges, Lord Antonio's wife dies a mysterious death, which leads to even more havoc in the court of the Duke. Seizing the opportunity, Vindici acts swiftly and violently but the morality of his cause is just as questionable as the aristocracy he is ousting. Revengers Tragedy was a competing film at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival. ~ Ryan Shriver, Rovi
I absolutely loved this movie! It was Shakespeare meets Glam Rock. Eddie Izzard gave a stand out performance and Christopher Eccleston was incredible. If you love Shakespeare, give this one a try - it's very different.
Alex Cox, what happened The director responsible for some of my favorite cult/punk rock movies of the 1980s like Repo Man, Straight to Hell, a, and Sid and Nancy seems to have gotten a bit pretentious of late. This film had the cool visuals, sets, and costuming I would expect of an Alex Cox film, but the Shakespearean English was just a bit too much to take and I couldn't finish the film. Reminded me of the modern take on Romeo +Juliet (1996) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, but not as watchable for some reason.Alex Cox needs to get bck to making punk rock movies.
There is no doubt that `Revenger's Tragedy' lacks much of the subtlety and wit of Shakespeare's work, but what of that? Middleton (or Tournier, if you please) is still a vastly entertaining writer and this film does the play justice. From the opening sequence with the bus to the irony of the conclusion, this film is one long joy ride of a revenge play. Eccleston is fantastic. The futuristic setting perfect. The script maintains the English of 1607 when the play was written but I would think anyone, after awhile, could understand the meaning clearly. Give it a try. It's worth watching just for Eccleston w/ the skull.