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Macbeth [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
Brutally medieval in portrayal and attitude, this is a grim telling of a grim tale which captivated me entirely. At once theatrical, stunningly visual and historically believable, Polanski for me has not only done full justice to the language and drama of the work but has presented the rugged, uncertain, internecene way of life of the period so starkly that the devices of the play are seen in a truly medieval light... this production has been described as vicious, brutal, visceral... well, it is, but above all I find it credible. I think, to date, that I cannot identify a better screen production of a Shakespeare work.
If anyone still believes that The Bard does not translate to the modern age, this film should be prescribed!
We went from complete disinterest, to shakespeare fans in one afternoon. I will always be grateful to that young english teacher (whatever her name was?) for igniting a lifelong interest in literature. If our Headmaster/parents had known what we were going to see, I'm sure the trip would never have happened! But the quality of acting was such, that suddenly we all knew and understood olde worlde english, something which carried on through other plays we studied. We were lucky enough to have our study of Romeo & Juliet underpinned with another of Polanski's films- exam results were good that year!
As a youth I worked as an extra in this film, one of the many trees forming Birnam Wood approaching Dunsinane Castle. This involved many of us carrying a christmas tree across the moors of North Northumberland many times in adverse weather conditions. Everyone was cold and wet most of the time with interminable hanging around between shoots usually while 'Leo' with his smoke gun kept falling off his motorbike into peat bogs (mist features heavily in this film). Contrary to the sleeve notes, many of the scenes were filmed in the stunning scenery of Northumberland, including Lindisfarne Castle and Bamburgh Castle.
A must for GCSE students in my opinion to fire the enthusiasm for this play, the name of which must not be uttered!
Like a lot of more recent Shakespeare films, though, this is stronger on spectacle than dialogue. A lot of the soliloquies are internalised - ie. the actor 'thinks' them, speaking them only as voiceover. It's an interesting idea, but rather hamstrings the acting possibilities. Mr and Mrs Macbeth (as my daughter calls them) are both a bit neurotic, and in general the cast are short on the traditional Shakespearean skills - most importantly, understanding the lines yourself and helping the audience to understand them. A lot of the lines feel rushed, the result of trying to a apply a more modern acting style, and overall the meditative aspect of the story is lost. But I have to say, with all its faults, I'd much rather sit through this than a camp, stagey version like the BBC one with Gandalf and M. Or, to be honest, one in broad Scauttish accents...
Polanski is a troubled genius, no doubt... We probably would have witnessed many more thought-provoking productions, akin to this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still, I think, one of the best screen versions of Macbeth, even if it looks and sounds (musically) a little dated..Published 1 day ago by Mike Gray
I never forgot this version of Macbeth as my school teacher showed me this version, when it was on a VHS tape - that should tell you how long ago I first saw this! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Laura Jane
Polanski's movie version of Macbeth remains the best film version of this fine play about ambition and greed which over-reaches itself.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer