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Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Roman Polanski's version of Shakespeare's tragedy about a Scottish lord who murders the king and ascends the throne. His wife then begins hallucinating as a result of her guilt complex and the dead king's son conspires to attack Macbeth and expose him for the murderer he is. Written by
Jason Ihle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The lyrics to the song that Fleance sings at Macbeth's banquet for Duncan at Inverness are taken from the poem "Merciles Beautè" by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the context of the film this extraneously inserted song is itself an anachronism, as Chaucer lived in the fourteenth century and Shakespeare's "Macbeth" historically takes place in the eleventh century. See more »
Polanki's 1971 Macbeth was a real treat. Before I watched it I was expecting to sleep for two hours like I did most of the BBC versions of Shakespeare films. This however brought a whole realistic and gritty, almost pulp effect, to the famous tragedy. I do believe that Polanski was ruminating over his recent trauma of the gruesome murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. And a great deal of his emotion is evident in the carnage of this film. However, Macbeth is a bloody story to begin with. I feel Roman was correct in revealing rugged Medieval Scotland in all of its bleak and grisly details. Jon finch is well cast as the ferocious thane whose personal insecurity and manipulations from his wife lead to his demise. Francesca Annis is correctly unorthodox playing Lady Macbeth with faint shrewdness and not too shrill. She is a perfect foil to her counterpart as she is both poised and stunningly beautiful. The fight scenes are believable without looking too choreographed. Polanski took artistic license a bit while wavering from the script and adding his avant garde effects. They are effective and help illustrate the play without deviating too much from the archaic language. This would not be a good choice for the squeamish, but for those looking for a bit of culture, history and film noir, Polanski's Macbeth is worth seeing.
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