April 21, 2012
This is definitely my type of movie. A movie that combines my interests for monarchic history, political intrigue and Shakespearean literature ALL IN ONE! It presents to us the premise that the William Shakespeare we know is just a front for a certain Earl of Essex who could not claim authorship because of political reasons. The twisted tale woven by writer John Orloff may not really be accurate historically (who knows?), but definitely,it was very imaginative and clever, as delivered to us on the screen by veteran director Roland Emmerich. I will see Emmerich now in a different light after disliking his more famous works, like "Independence Day," "Godzilla" and the clunky "2012."
The story took its time in expounding on its complicated plot lines. Some viewers may be turned off by the flashbacks and fast-forwards in scenes, as we meet the characters at different ages played by different actors, which may really be quite confusing at first. But you will certainly be rewarded greatly for your patience in hanging on. The actors were generally British and not really well-known to many, except perhaps for the exceptional Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I. Rhys Ifans played the elder and very talented Earl of Oxford with so much tragic restraint and nobility. Edward Hogg was properly slimy in his portrayal of the treacherous adviser Robert Cecil. Rafe Spall plays loutish actor Will Shakespeare with ironic glee.
I heartily recommend everyone to watch this film. It is now showing exclusively in Ayala Cinemas only. Films of this devious wit and admirable cleverness are really rare to come by, and we should not waste the chance to watch it!