Macbeth Movie Review

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Amanda Ujkashi
12/1/12
Macbeth Movie Review
Macbeth is a story of passion, power, and violent betrayal: all of which are found in Mark Brozel’s contemporary adaptation of the Shakespearian classic. Set in Scotland, this production uses modern day language and dress to better relate to today’s audience. In this representation of Macbeth, Joe Macbeth is the sous chef in Duncan Docherty’s three star restaurant. Ella Macbeth, Billy Banquo, and Peter Macduff are also important characters. Macbeth has had multiple productions, from Orson Welles’ 1948 cinematic masterpiece to Polanski’s 1971 blood-filled horror story, and I believe that “Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth” was a fairly charming take this chilling dramatic piece; however, Brozel completely fails to bring Shakespeare’s crafted language and symbolism into view. Brozel focused on the unraveling of Joe and Ella’s relationship, and evil coming from Ella. One of the focal problems of Brozel’s production was the deterioration of the Macbeths’ marriage; however, it was not obvious that they had a strong relationship to begin with. For example, Ella was flirting with Duncan in front of a group: “Duncan: In another life, I’d make a pass at you. Ella: In another life I’d let you.” This does not seem like Ella is very committed or in love, nevertheless we find out the she is/was. Though they do not talk other much in public, we see that Ella has a strong influence over Joe’s action; like when Ella convinces Joe that murdering Duncan is what he wants to do and what is best. Joe and Ella are “close-knit” but do not have a healthy relationship. Ella taunts and uses sexual appeal to get what she wants while Joe shows dominance over her physically by grabbing and throwing her down. Brozel uses a high angle shot to emphasize Joe’s strength and also Ella’s willingness to let him be in control. They are violent and passionate in their nature which ultimately leads to their downfall. We see their connection weaken...
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