One can only thank Polanski for casting such relatively young actors as his leads. Kings lived and died young then, and had to be both excellent generals as well as administrators to succeed. Jon Finch is both athletic and impassioned enough to carry off the soldiering, and young and introspective enough to be moved by his wife both as a woman and co-conspirator. Of course Francesca Annis made a splash by doing the mad scene in the nude--but in medieval times, everyone slept in the nude, so it was certainly accurate to the times.
And as has been noted before, at least the castle keeps are cold, dark, and dirty. The communal sleeping arrangements, straw bedding, flaring smoky torches, seeping walls, and muddy yards all contribute to the historical accuracy of this production. The exterior of Bamburgh also works. And keeping with Shakespeare's light vs. dark metaphors, the mist, rain, and lowering skies combine to enhance the mood.
What happens in this "Macbeth" is as realistic as possible. So what happens offstage in the play, happens onstage in the film: the murders of Duncan, Banquo, Macduff's family. Murder is nasty and bloody and Polanski (having much experience of its results) makes sure we know it. Medieval Scotland was nasty and bloody as well, and if the film is accurate in depicting its setting, why not the action? And only Polanski has an ending that hints that violence and ambition didn't die with Macbeth's overthrow. All said, Polanski's film still has the most accurate medieval setting, engaging performance(s), and thrilling battles. [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2007, 01). Macbeth Review. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 01, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Macbeth-Review-104342.html
"Macbeth Review" StudyMode.com. 01 2007. 01 2007 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Macbeth-Review-104342.html>.
"Macbeth Review." StudyMode.com. 01, 2007. Accessed 01, 2007. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Macbeth-Review-104342.html.