Cymbeline (2014)

Cymbeline (2014)
  • Time: 97 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Michael Almereyda
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, Ed Harris, John Leguizamo


A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures.

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  • Having put forth a contemporary spin on one of the Bard’s most famous plays Hamlet back in 2000, director Michael Almereyda tackles one of Shakespeare’s least known and more problematic works, Cymbeline. With the British king Cymbeline (Ed Harris) and his court updated as members of the Briton Motorcycle Club, easy comparisons are invited to Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy, the outlaw motorcycle gang television drama heavily influenced by Hamlet. The weakest episode from the weakest season of Sutter’s series would readily trump Cymbeline’s strongest scene. Almereyda’s streamlined adaptation is a misfire from any angle, and it does not even have the consolation of being a noble failure.

    The star-crossed romance between Imogen (Dakota Johnson) and Posthumus (Penn Badgley) forms the nucleus of the tale. Cymbeline, encouraged by his scheming second wife (Milla Jovovich), has chosen his stepson Cloten (Anton Yelchin) as Imogen’s betrothed. Imogen defies her father by exchanging secret vows with the penniless Posthumus, whom Cymbeline raised as her playmate. The king banishes the arty, skateboarding brooder and places Imogen under house arrest. Posthumus takes refuge with his friend Philario (James Ransone), who introduces him to Iachimo (Ethan Hawke). After hearing Posthumus praise Imogen’s beauty and purity, Iachimo wagers he can seduce the princess and prove her fidelity is assailable.

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