Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Gary Sweet, Steve Bastoni, Lachy Hulme, Matt Doran, Victoria Hill
Director: Geoffrey Wright
Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 10/07/2008 Run time: 110 minutes
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This is the Macbeth I have been waiting for
Manuel Valderrama | Chicago, IL United States | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have taught this play 3xs a day for 15 years. It is no exaggeration to say that I consider it perfect. It contains Shakespeare's concisest expression of his insight into ambition, greed, remorse, emasculation, inevitability,and self-deception. The title character really does know better but he cannot help himself. Unlike many of the Bard's other great plays, this one achieves much of its tremendous power through its focus and economy, which brings me to Worthington's version. Naturally I went to see it in the theater, not knowing what to expect. I was blown away. For years I had pondered writing a contemporary version of the Scottish play but this movie beat me to it. I think everything about it works really well. My only criticism is that the famous "Tomorrow" speech is relegated to the end of the movie and it is shortened. This is the only choice I did not appreciate. Otherwise, this version may attract converts to what I think is the greatest play ever written. Finally, I am clear about one thing: this is a movie of a play. I don't expect the same things on the screen that I do in the theater."
'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely p
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is refreshing to rest assured that Shakespeare remains a viable writer and no matter how his plays are manipulated or 'updated' or altered or interpreted, his majesty of the English language remains intact and the impact of his ideas and words sustain even the most bizarre reconsiderations. Such, for this viewer, is the case of MACBETH as condensed for the screen by writer/actress Victoria Hill and directed with intensity and sensitivity of communication by Geoffrey Wright. The result may seem to be a bloody mad feud suggesting a majority of the teen driven films of today, but consider the source: imagining Shakespeare's MACBETH without the gore would mean the meat had been removed.
Transferred from Scotland to Melbourne, Australia, the well-known fight for kingship among the Scots is transposed to be the turf struggle for supremacy in the underworld gangland of Melbourne. The script and the direction make this transposition work, using the original dialog from the play, placing it in the voices and bodies of an all-Australian cast, to the point that the allegiance of the actors as to place is far less important than the telling of a powerful tale of ambition. Sam Worthington makes an enigmatic yet strong Macbeth, well paired by Victoria Hill as his conniving and ultimately mad wife Lady Macbeth: the two form a chemistry that serves the original intent of the author well. The many characters who rise and fall in the wake of the ambition of Macbeth tend to blend a bit because of the condensation of the script, but Gary Sweet as the doomed Duncan, Steve Batoni as Banquo, and Lachy Hulme as Macduff are particularly fine. The three witches whose predictions drive the play here become nude seductresses and are well interpreted by Miranda Nation, Chloe Armstrong, and Kate Bell.
The battle scenes are appropriately gruesome and the musical score that accompanies this film is an odd mixture of rock and piano transcriptions of Beethoven symphony movements. With the bracing cinematography by Will Gibson it all works well. Unfortunately the Shakespearean language can become lost with the heavy Aussie accents and subtitles would have been helpful. But if your television set has that subtitle option available, this small defect can be overcome. Yes, it helps to know the original play well in order to fully appreciate the transposition, but the script and cast and director make a fine case for involving even the uninitiated into the power of MACBETH. Worth your time, this. Grady Harp, October 07
Appeals to a more youthful audience
hessa | Boston, MA | 07/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am an English teacher, and I have always found Macbeth a tough sell with high school students. This modern take on the classic is the only film version available that appeals to a younger generation, and it uses the original text fairly effectively (albeit with many cuts). Think of this as the Macbeth equivalent of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, but without Luhrmann's visual sense of humor.
Yes, this Macbeth has its drawbacks, namely gratuitous nudity and an inexplicable orgy with Macbeth and the witches (I skip over these parts with my students). Overall, though, this film captures the violence of the play in a more contemporary context and, through visual cues, actually provides plausible motivations for the characters (e.g. Lady Macbeth is a suicidal drug user after the death of a son). Worth a look, but not for purists."