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Macbeth (3 stars)

(15) 106min (Revolver DVD retail/rental)

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There’s nothing particularly new about updating Shakespeare’s medieval Scottish tragedy to a modern criminal underworld setting - see the 1956 American mob movie Joe Macbeth - but Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Wright nevertheless makes a decent stab at drawing parallels between the feudal infighting of the original and the gangland wars that blighted his hometown Melbourne a few years ago.

Wright, who’s best known for his hard-hitting 1992 skinhead film Romper Stomper, piles on the violence, chops chunks of dialogue and shoots the action in a self-consciously stylish manner, all of which provides cinematic spectacle but ultimately little literary weight.

A leather jacket-clad, Uzi-wielding anti-hero and a trio of schoolgirl nymphet witches might look cool enough, but this effort to bring the Bard to a new audience is undermined by abridgements that underplay, for example, Macbeth’s relationship with his Lady. In any event, this post-modern Macbeth looks decidedly old-school compared with Baz Luhrmann’s far more inventive Romeo + Juliet. (Miles Fielder)


1. Nick Anderson20 Mar 2008, 4:30am Report

I am some what of a thespian, especially when it comes to The works of William Shakespeare. I have seen many live plays of Macbeth and Roman Polanski's film. This by far was the best adaptation i have seen yet. The mix of modern gang warfare and the classic lines that we all love was amazing. The cinematography and camera angles added to the mysterious and thrilling work of shakespeare that i love dearly. If you like other shakespeare adaptaions there is a version of the Bards " A Midsummer Nights Dream" It is set in the 18 hundreds, not as modern as this version of MAcbeth, but it is still a beutifull film of shakespears work, much like this one.

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