Great Performances: Macbeth
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Director Rupert Goold adapts his gripping stage production of Macbeth - with Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood reprising their Tony-nominated performances - into this edgy film adaptation, which relocates the bloody action to a nameless 20th-century netherworld.
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The cast is the same one that participated in the Chichester Festival Theatre production; indeed, this is that same production, although released from the constrictions of the stage. The dress is modern. There are overtones of Soviet Russia in the costuming and set design, which is very appropriate as Macbeth transforms from loyal soldier to tyrant. But the themes are timeless, as is always the case with Shakespeare.
Shortly after a victory in battle, Macbeth (Stewart) and his friend Banquo (Martin Turner) are traveling home across a heath when they encounter three witches dresses as nurses. They greet him with "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter!"
When MacBeth is made Thane of Cawdor, he naturally begins to think that being king might be next in line. And when King Duncan (Paul Shelley) visits his castle, Lady MacBeth (Suzanne Burden) goads her husband into murdering the king and framing a couple of innocent servants for the deed. As the witches predicted, MacBeth becomes king of Scotland.
But the witches also prophesied that Banquo would be the father of kings, so MacBeth starts tying off loose ends by hiring assassins to kill Banquo and his young son, as well as a wily thane named MacDuff and all of his family. But though MacBeth believes himself to be safe from everyone, his fear begins to grow as madness and guilt torment him and his wife.
One of the most fascinating things about "Macbeth" is how evil it is -- mass murder, insanity, bloody ghosts, a trio of manipulative witches, and a weak man who becomes a raving murderous paranoiac. First-time director Rupert Goold seizes on all the blood, darkness and horror of the story, and splashes it all over this adaptation.
Seriously.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Bought for use with English class but adaptation too unlike the play...I was disappointed.Published 1 month ago by Sally Cogswell
This is the most terrifying version of Macbeth out there. I show this to my enriched English class every year and they pretty much lose their minds.Published 20 months ago by Sarah Dianne Ng