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MacBeth

Staring: Sam Worthington, Victoria Hill, Lachy Hume, Steve Bastoni, Gary Sweet, Mick Malloy, Chris Vance, Matt Doran, Damien Walsh-Howling, Nash Edgerton, Bob Franklin, Rel Hunt
Release: 2006

Notes:
When a classic is updated, to meet modern or perhaps post modern tastes, it can gain and lose a significant amount of information and cohesion in the translation. This is one good example of this concept. The story has been altered to fit a modernistic drug culture.

Instead of Duncan the King we have Gary Sweet who plays a Drug Lord. While Lady MacBeth is portrayed as a Mother who has lost her child and is feeling somehow angry at the world. The portraying of the Witches as three hot young highschool girls seems to be an obvious ploy to pander to the concept of "sex sells". While many of the other characters have held their roles in reasonable proximity to what they actual were. Though the translation has made mistakes and has missed crucial plot options.

The primary mistake is with Lady MacBeth She had not lost a child, nor had she actually had any. The lines in the play that state:

"Bring forth men-children only, For thy undaunted mettle should compose Nothing but males."
Act 1, Scene 7, Page 3

Lady MacBeth was complimented by MacBeth and encouraged to give birth (as if she had this option in her power) to only male children. A later scene in the movie that is incorrect is when Lady MacBeth prepares herself for admitting and welcoming Duncan into her home.

"Come, you spirits that assist murderous thoughts, make me less like a woman and more like a man, and fill me from head to toe with deadly cruelty! Thicken my blood and clog up my veins so I wonít feel remorse, so that no human compassion can stop my evil plan or prevent me from accomplishing it! Come to my female breast and turn my motherís milk into poisonous acid, you murdering demons, wherever you hide, invisible and waiting to do evil! "
Act 1, Scene 5, Page 2

Lady MacBeth speaks about removing her natural instincts as a woman. She does not refer, as the movie suggests, to her lost child. She is trying to steady her resolve for the murder her maternal instincts would have denied.

Lastly, as this is rather longwinded, the original Witches were three old crones. All ugly and dressed in filthy clothes. perhaps if the movie really wanted to make a point, it could have kept the young girls all the way up to the last scene when they are having sex with MacBeth When he turns to them demanding why they showed him his death, that would have been a great time to morph them into three withered filthy old hags. What a nice psychological twist of the dagger in MacBeth's heart as he struggles with his crime and his future.

Over all, it was an interesting, if not somewhat misguided attempt at telling the story.

M J Flack