Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Monday, August 9, 2010

Macbeth - 1971 - Dir. Polansky

I don't know a whole lot of all those classy Shakespeares out there but Macbeth is certainly one I'm more familiar with. It's probably one of my favorite ones as well. I couldn't tell you how much Polansky's version strayed from the original without checking the wikipedia entry (which I did) but I know the broad strokes. Now that ignorance has been established, I thought it was okay. First of all, the opening scene is awesome. I get behind cryptic imagery like nobodies business. In fact, I just really liked the Weird Sisters. IN FACT, visually, I got behind the movie. It nails that filthy, gray, medieval look with strange bursts of color. It even has a trippy 70's hallucinatory sequence (which is okay). I think the acting felt a little bit on the weaker side though. It's not bad, but I suppose it didn't feel terribly memorable except for Francesca Annis who played a bitchin' Lady Macbeth. And I suppose Jon Finch certainly takes a subtle hand with Macbeth. I can't help but feel I would have liked to see him explode when the time came a bit more. Polansky has a bunch of the soliloquies delivered via voice over, which makes plenty of sense and is certainly the more cinematic choice. However, it was a little distracting at first and I can't help but feel like I wouldn't have minded the actors having a little bit more fat to chew. A fine adaptation, but I'll take Throne of Blood over this any day.