There have been many different versions of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. All of which include different endings and portrayals of characters. However, Polanski’s adaptation is probably the most contradistinctive to the other films. Polanski transformed the ordinary script to something new, refreshing and ingenious with his selection of exceptional actors he was able to create a whole new story of Macbeth.
Polanski created this film after the gruesome murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. The movie was released in 1971, two years after her death. Sharon was only two weeks from giving birth when she was brutally murdered. The murderers were part of the Manson clan. They took the fetus and gave it to their leader, Charles Manson as a gift. Which has some bizarre correlations to Macduff and his family’s murders. Especially the aspect of Macduff being untimely ripped from his mother’s womb. This could have some possible relations as to why Polanski chose to create the film to be so bloody and sadistic. Making the murder of Duncan more vicious, giving Macbeth a more guilty conscience when Duncan sees his face before he dies. He structured the film to show its raw cruelty.
Polanski chose create this film in this type of structure because only in a motion picture could a director capture the brutality and twisted mind Macbeth had. The advantage of a film over a play is when Macbeth is thinking to himself we can hear his thoughts. Instead of speaking them out loud and watching his mouth move, we see headshots of Macbeth while we hear his voiceovers. This change is more effective because it looks more practical, in a play the characters would have to ignore what he is saying. It gives you a better impression of being in his head. Watching his thoughts change throughout the movie has become more personal because only you can hear it. Although other directors might have used this effect, Polanski’s own interpretation is different.
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