Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Rafe Spall
The premise for Anonymous has always intrigued me in a way that I is hard to explain. Considering that I have read some of what William Shakespeare has written and being a film student his work has always interested me. The film embraces the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship to a fault. It cleary states, in the movie, that he was a fraud and he never wrought a single one of his play. Though out the movie I found that the Shakespeare story line was more of a side story compared to the story of the Duke of Oxford and what goes on with Queen Elizabeth and how she had no ligitament heir to her throne. May major problem with the movie is that it didn’t fully focus on tell the story that it was meant to tell and ended up being a more historical history film about Queen Elizabeth and her interactions with the Duke of Oxford, which did lead him to right a major of plays about those interactions.
Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) is an aristocrat who yearns to write poetry and plays, but due to social and political constraints, he is forced to use a front for his political-minded works because they subtly encourage Queen Elizabeth to alter her plan for succession in a way that is in direct opposition to her most-trusted political advisers. When drunken, illiterate, fame-hungry actor William Shakespeare (RafeSpall) passes off the plays as his own, de Vere finds his man, but eventually he is blackmailed when the morally dubious thespian wants more and more.
For Roland Emmerich, the director of such disaster movies as Independence Day, 2012, and Godzilla, this movie is a different kind of movie than he usually does but he handles it with the ute most confidence, which he succeeds at creating a tense movie and a wonderful looking atmosphere. It shows that he is a very versatile director when he wants to be. I found the movie to be very enjoyable though it had its slow moments. The performances from the main cast are simply incredible and successfully carry the movie though some very rough spots. The story itself is a very interesting one though it tries to prove something that many believe to false. My major problem with the movie is the use of flash backs, they seem to just pop up out of no where and only shows interactions between the young Duke and young Queen. It does show some aspects of where the Duke gets his inspiration for the majority of the works he did in the movie. The special effects are top notch, showcasing the environment of 16th century England that would be much more difficult without the special effects.
I hope that in the future that Roland Emmerich keeps making these kinds of movie because he seems to be growing as a director and can make a tense period piece rather than disaster movies. In general the movie is a great thing even though I don’t know if the actual reality of Shakespeare authorship is legit or not. All-in-all this movie should be viewed even with the very little flaws that it contains.
8 out of 10