As some people already guessed, I have been a huge fan of Tom Hiddleston. He was a great actor in my opinion, especially as Loki in first Thor film. So right away, I already attracted by him when the news of him playing “Coriolanus” came up, through National Theatre Live in January 2014.
I known very little of Coriolanus – part from description of Ralph Fiennes’s version. It seemed Coriolanus’s focus was very much a man’s struggle to switch his way of thinking and moving from a soldier to a politician, which as a result led him to his downfalls. His personal pride and his perception toward people around him also fueled his downfall along the way, which these would not surprise me as almost everyday we hear stories of politicians suffering downfall for something they shouldn’t do or say.
The beginning scene of Coriolanus lift the curtain with the sound of marching drums and everyone (but Hiddleston) stood in front of the audience, it was impossible to dismiss the sense of danger within. At the same time when Tom Hiddleston emerged and encourage his fellows to fight with him, you could clearly felt why he was popular. Yet everything changed after he was persuaded by his mother to take on politics, which was something he refused right at the beginning, the situation gone further downhill when he was being questioned for his credibility to be a politician. He simply could not back down because of his mother, his personal pride and moral made him impossible to bow down to the politician with “a mask”. As a result he was bounded to be banished, but in some ways his mother was the person responsible for many downfalls of Coriolanus. Especially when she forced him to participate politics, reminded me many children who have had their lives nearly destroyed because of parent’s expectations, such as Vanessa Mae.
At the second half Coriolanus teamed with his enemy in the first half to take revenge on Rome, which a decision he decided to give up on in the end, yet his enemy refused to do so. In that scene I presume Coriolanus was expecting this, when his mother made him not to attack Rome, he felt that his personal wish meant nothing to his other. I looked at his mother with disgust, how could she use her position as his mother and make him do many things he did not wish to do?
(my favorite picture of Tom Hiddleston)