Review: Anonymous

Maybe if I knew all there was to know about Shakespeare and what transpired around the time period, I may have more to say and more to appreciate. As is, I found this pretty tedious.

Anonymous explores the possibility that William Shakespeare’s classic writings were not his own, and that he was little more than a face to obscure more devious intentions.

The primary reason I watched Anonymous was because Roland Emmerich directed it, I mean what’s going on, the man isn’t blowing up Manhattan with aliens, tidal waves or Godzilla? This is a straight-faced period thriller, book-ended as though it were a theatre play. Apparently Emmerich saw the script and funded its production from his own pocket, giving him complete control.

Honestly, I don’t think Emmerich is the man to make these sorts of films. The editing work is pretty bad, making a relatively involved narrative feel shattered and garbled, jumping rapidly from scene to scene. I knew what the film was telling me, but it was told in such a way that I ceased caring, especially as it is mostly hypothetical.

Which is a shame, because there are some interesting ideas. The concept of a time where writing and poetry were considered evil, and those capable of creative imagination were deemed possessed or mad, is quite fascinating. The idea of written words, plays and theatre becoming weapons to control the masses was also interesting… yet… from being structurally garbled or blowing these ideas way out of proportion, I just wasn’t gripped by it.

Anonymous could have been an interesting concept if executed neatly, especially in this day and age were the written word is so powerful (and often by “anonymous” artists) but I found it forgettable. Maybe I missed something, maybe others will enjoy it.


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