There have many adaptations of Shakespeare plays over the years, including modernizations. From successes like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet to ... not successes like Sam Worthington’s 2006 version of Macbeth. Ralph Fiennes has turned to a lesser-known Shakespeare play in Coriolanus for his directing debut—which is now on Blu-ray and DVD—and he does it very well.
Rome is in chaos, the country is in the middle of a food shortage, the plebs are rioting and tensions within the nation of Volsci are flaring up on Rome’s borders. Caius Marius Coriolanus (Fiennes) is a top commander, with the scars to prove it. After a battle between Rome and Volsci and between Coriolanus and his mortal enemy Tullus Aufudius (Gerald Butler), Coriolanus is hailed a hero. Senator Menenius (Brian Cox) convinces Coriolanus to run for Consul of Rome, despite his contempt for the common people. Another senator, Sicinus (James Nesbitt) leads the plebs to exile the war hero, forcing Coriolanus to plot his revenge with none other than his enemy.