Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marlon Marathon - Julius Caesar

I loved this movie. As you know, I don't like to read. So reading, let alone watching Shakespeare, just makes my armpits sweat. Luckily we had the good sense to put on the closed caption so dumb me could read along while watching.

I was shocked to discover that not only did I know what was going on, but that I actually appreciated the prose! I giggled at the comedic lines and was moved by the beauty of the imagery that other lines produced. Seriously, that Shakespeare knew what he was doing. Someone should tell people about this guy.

Well let's get on with it. Julius Caesar was made in 1953 and stars Marlon Brando as Marc Antony and James Mason as Brutus. Brando is way HOT in this film. I'm not joking, that man is just beautiful. Even if you are scared of the Shakespeare mumbo jumbo, just rent this movie, turn down the sound, and watch Brando. Although you'll have to fast forward through about 1/2 of the movie to get to his scenes.

I'm sure you all know the story of Julius Caesar. This guy Cassius wants Caesar out of power because he's becoming too powerful. So he bands together a bunch of other senators with the same idea. Cassius also tries to convince Brutus, Caesar's long-time loyal friend, to plot with him. Brutus resists at first but is eventually lured into the scheme when Cassius fakes some letters from the people of Rome expressing their dislike of Caesar.

Anyway, they plan to kill him in the Senate. Caesar gets wind of this plot in the form of a soothsayer and his wife who has a terrible dream about his death. He doesn't listen, goes anyway, and gets stabbed to death.

"Et tu Brute?"

FINALLY Brando is on: So Brando plays Antonius (Marc Antony) who is good buds with Caesar and very loyal. He's pissed about the murder but fakes his loyalty to the senate. He asks to speak to the mob that is gathering outside the senate to calm them and reassure them that it was for the best. Brutus agrees and Antonius delivers an amazing speech over Caesar's corpse that enrages the crowd and causes them to rise up. That'll show em.

Then there's a war where Antonius and Caesar's adopted son Octavius fight Brutus, Cassius and the other bad guys.

"Great Caesar's ghost!" Okay, the line's not in the movie, but I wanted to say it anyway. So Brutus sees Caesar's ghost in his tent and freaks out. Brutus and his army are doomed shortly after and fall victim to a well-orchestrated ambush by Antonius' men. Both Brutus and Cassius impale themselves on their own swords. Cool.

The End.

This movie was well-acted, had modest but lovely sets, was directed beautifully, and of course, gorgeous Brando. A must see for Shakespeare or Brando fans.

We give it 3 1/2 marbles out of 5.

Next up: A Streetcar Named Desire (My favorite!)