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Storyline:   "Titus" is a 1999 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "Titus Andronicus," directed by Julie Taymor. The movie offers a visually stunning and visceral reimagining of the Shakespearean tragedy, set in a surreal and stylized world inspired by ancient Rome. The story follows Titus Andronicus (played by Anthony Hopkins), a decorated Roman general returning home from a brutal war with the Goths. After capturing the queen of the Goths, Tamora (played by Jessica Lange), and her three sons, Titus becomes entangled in a cycle of revenge and violence. As the plot unfolds, the film delves into the themes of vengeance, cruelty, and the destructive consequences of violence. It showcases the tragic events that befall the characters as they seek retribution for past wrongs, leading to a chain reaction of brutality and betrayal. The film employs striking visual imagery, incorporating elements of surrealism and magical realism to amplify the story's intensity. Julie Taymor's direction brings a distinct and creative vision to the classic tragedy, pushing the boundaries of traditional Shakespearean adaptations.

"Titus" features a talented ensemble cast, with Anthony Hopkins delivering a commanding and emotionally charged performance as the tormented Titus. Jessica Lange brings a fierce and captivating portrayal of Tamora, the vengeful queen of the Goths. The film also stars Alan Cumming, Colm Feore, and Harry Lennix, among others, each contributing to the film's powerful and dynamic storytelling. Beyond its visual and thematic impact, "Titus" is known for its unapologetic and confrontational approach to the violent and disturbing elements of the source material. Taymor's adaptation does not shy away from the dark and gruesome aspects of the play, creating a challenging and thought-provoking cinematic experience. While "Titus" received a mixed response from critics upon its release, it has garnered a devoted following over the years for its audacious storytelling and visual artistry. It stands as a unique and ambitious interpretation of Shakespeare's tragic tale, showcasing the enduring power and relevance of the Bard's works in contemporary cinema.
Year : 1999
IMDB Rating: 7
Director: Julie Taymor
Top Billing Cast:  Jessica Lange as Tamora Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Chiron Anthony Hopkins as Titus Andronicus Alan Cumming as Saturninus

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Titus Trivia

  1. The film's visual style and artistic direction were heavily influenced by Julie Taymor's background in theater and her experience in directing large-scale productions. She used inventive and creative techniques, including surrealistic imagery and bold color palettes, to bring Shakespeare's play to life on the screen.
  2. The casting of Jessica Lange as Tamora was a deliberate choice by Julie Taymor to break the tradition of casting younger actresses in the role. Taymor believed that Lange's maturity and depth as an actress would bring a unique and powerful interpretation to the character.
  3. Composer Elliot Goldenthal, who is Julie Taymor's long-time collaborator and partner, created a haunting and evocative score for the film. The music was composed to complement the film's themes of violence, revenge, and madness.
  4. "Titus" received mixed reviews upon its initial release, with some critics praising its bold and innovative approach to Shakespeare's play, while others found the film's violence and dark themes too overwhelming. However, over the years, it has gained a cult following and is considered a unique and daring adaptation of the classic tragedy.
  5. Julie Taymor's decision to use anachronistic props and costumes, such as tanks and machine guns, was a way to make the themes of warfare and violence in the play resonate with contemporary audiences. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern elements added to the film's surreal and dreamlike atmosphere.
  6. The film's themes of revenge, betrayal, and power dynamics were explored through the use of hands as a recurring motif. Hands are shown in various symbolic gestures throughout the movie, emphasizing the characters' intentions and emotions.
  7. The use of color in the film was carefully curated to convey different emotions and themes. The absence of green, except for natural elements like grass and leaves, was a deliberate choice to create a stark contrast between safety and danger in the story.
  8. "Titus" was not a commercial success upon its release, but it garnered attention for its bold visuals and powerful performances, especially from Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. It has since become a cult classic among fans of both Shakespearean adaptations and experimental filmmaking.
  9. The film's visual and artistic style earned it several nominations and awards, including Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction. Milena Canonero, the costume designer, won the BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design for her work on the film.
  10. Julie Taymor's decision to leave the scene with the prostitutes despite her initial reservations is a testament to her commitment to authenticity and the exploration of complex themes in the film. She aimed to capture the harsh reality of the time and the various aspects of human nature, even if it meant including uncomfortable or controversial elements.
  11. The use of modern technologies like tanks and machine guns in the film's battle scenes contributed to the film's visually striking and unique aesthetic. It allowed Taymor to create a surreal and immersive experience for the audience while exploring the timeless themes of Shakespeare's play.
  12. "Titus" showcases Julie Taymor's distinctive directorial style, characterized by a fusion of theatrical elements, rich visual storytelling, and a willingness to push boundaries. The film exemplifies her innovative approach to classic texts and her ability to create visually captivating narratives.
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