29 October 2011
Anonymous: Xenophilius and Lupin take on Shakespeare.
Anonymous has a limited release yesterday. I went to the Arclight Theater in Pasadena, CA to watch it. It was mind-blowingly excellent. I loved everything about it, from the characters to the actors to the references. I was an English major at University so I'm a bit of a literature nerd. Okay, I'm a huge literature nerd and a fan of Shakespeare's work. Or is it his work? That is basically what Anonymous is about. It's not a debate, but rather the other side of the story that says it is not his work, but the work of the Earl of Oxford.
People seem to really take sides on the issue, but I really don't have one. I mean, sure the original author should get the credit, and we can argue over evidence, but would the Earl of Oxford having penned Hamlet, Henry V, or Richard III really make any of those works any less amazing? Would you love them less--or hate them more? You can spend years debating about it, but at the end of the day I think the work itself is more important.
What I was geeing out throughout the movie, just hearing the names of the characters or seeing Shakespeare plays I enjoy. It was cool when I could tell what bit of a play they were performing even without them flashing a manuscript beforehand. Hearing (and seeing) Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and of course the Bard himself just had me grinning like a fangirl almost as much as I grinned seeing some of the Harry Potter actors take part in this amazing film.
The actors were all incredible. David Thewlis--who played Remus Lupin in Harry Potter--is one of my favorite actors, and he is really quite gorgeous. He did a wonderful job as William Cecil and played them at many stages in life. Even Rhys Ifans--who played Xenophilius Lovegood--who I am not a fan of, did a great job as the Earl of Oxford. His performance was impeccable.
They were a lot of new faces I had yet to meet in movies or television; one of them being Rafe Spall. (Who is pictured on the right.) I could not help but love this man. He played William Shakespeare, but his portrayal was comical and brilliant. He also was a cute bloke that left me wanting to see more of him.
I highly recommend this film to anyone. I don't think you should take it at face-value though. Maybe do a bit of research yourself or talk to other scholars of this time period and see if you're ready to chose a side on the controversial matter. Regardless of where you stand, this is an excellent piece of work.