Cymbeline (2015) Movie Review: Gotta Love Shakespeare. Or Not.

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever someone speaks Shakespeare and you have no idea what they are talking about.

Take a Drink: anytime Dakota Johnson’s character Imogen cries her eyes out.

Take a Drink: each time one of the guys pulls out a gun.

Do a Shot: when you see Penn Badgley with no shirt on. Best part of the movie.

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: 50shadesgirlportland (Five Beers) – 

Ethan Hawke re-teams with his modern-day Hamlet director Michael Almereyda to make Cymbeline, in which he stars as Lachimo. The look of the film is total urban gang warfare, meshing Shakespeare with Sons of Anarchy. The cast is stuffed, also starring Ed Harris as Cymbeline the King. His wife, the Queen, is played by Mila Jovovich. The orphan Posthumus is played by Penn Badgley. Dakota Johnson plays Imogen, the King’s daughter and love of Posthumus. Other actors in the movie include John Leguizamo, Anton Yelchin, and Bill Pullman.

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A Toast

With these actors on board this could have been a real New York City down-and-dirty-gang-versus-the-police kind of movie. However, while there are some great moments, it’s just hard to understand the storyline they are projecting. The style of the Cymbeline is definitely leaning toward lots of black leather, motorcycles, knives, guns, and other weapons, but the film follows the Shakespearean story of love-crossed Imogene and Posthumus, set in a world trying to keep them apart. By bringing in the gritty street setting it moves the narrative into the modern day with iPhones and laptops. Cymbeline was filmed in NYC, adding an extra level of depth to the feel of scenes throughout. Dakota Johnson and Penn Badgley have some great chemistry as well, especially as she drives off on a motorcycle at the end.

Beer Two

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The character Iachimo proved to be well-played by Ethan Hawke, almost to the point that you didn’t know whether or not he was a good guy or bad guy. When Iachimo entered Imogen’s house and snuck into her bedroom to take photos of her while she was sleeping… that was just plain creepy.

Beer Three

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I kept waiting for Johnson to break out and do more with her character. Thankfully, there’s only one lip bite here and it’s right before she takes the poison.  You do get a glimpse of her amazing legs as she’s climbing in and out of the windows. So there’s that.

Beer Four

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Johnson’s look starts out with dyed-blonde hair and the rumpled blonde style is not her best look, made even worse when they used a really bad short-haired wig on her. It looked like she chopped off her hair and dyed it brown.  Kind of an eye-sore.

Beer Five

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If you love Shakespearean English and can understand it, then this movie is for you. If you’re like me and after ten minutes in you’re thinking  “what’s the story?”, then maybe you’re better off hitting the mute button and just watching the actors.

Verdict

The look of the Cymbeline combined with these incredible actors (including the directing and locations) should have made for a great combination of old world Shakespeare and the modern day. Audiences will most likely really want to enjoy this film, but getting over the Shakespearean dialogue may prove too hard a hurdle to overcome.

5Beers1

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