Julie Taymor’s experimental film adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was quite unfortunate and problematic. Helen Mirren as the female Prospera (not the male Prospero, as in the original play) was brilliant but too underused. The comic bits, which could have been well-performed, basically ruined the film. But “Prospera’s Coda”, a song that immediately followed the film, was most touching, dark, and brooding. Shakespeare wrote the lyrics, and Beth Gibbons of Portishead fame took over on vocals. Beth Gibbons did an excellent job at illustrating loss, despair, and, finally, retirement, via her singing.
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