ISBN 9788184080407,Macbeth




Indiana Publishing House

Publication Year 2007

ISBN 9788184080407

ISBN-10 8184080409

Paper Back

Number of Pages 246 Pages
Language (English)

Literature fiction

Special Features: Reed Business Information (c) 2005 Twelfth Night and Macbeth aren't the most obvious pairing, but both productions on Home Vision's disc attempt to bring Shakespeare out of the 17th century, with updated costumes and props (e.g., machine guns and surveillance cameras). Twelfth Night features a multiracial cast for its mistaken identity shenanigans and a soundtrack that mixes rock with an East Indian score. Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) charms as Viola/Cesario, and her strong, sometimes sexually charged scenes with Orsino are the film's highlights. But she can't overcome a central problem for today's audiences: no one would believe she's a boy, much less confuse her with her twin brother. And the cuts to the drunken "downstairs" revenge plot distract more than they amuse. In Macbeth, Sean Pertwee plays the title character as a man of action, a working-class biker who does his soliloquies in a realistic voice-over and becomes more like a paranoid rock star than a king. Despite his and other fine performances, the film doesn't quite gel, and the special effects in the witch sequences are regrettably cheesy, dating the 1997 production. This set isn't an essential purchase, but libraries looking to freshen up their Shakespeare holdings with contemporary stagings will be interested. The A&E reissue of Macbeth, although originally staged for TV in 1978, isn't dated at all. Trevor Nunn's minimalist, almost claustrophobic version has few props, simple black backdrops, and only occasional churchlike music. Despite the lack of frills, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench, now substantially better known to a mass audience, rivet the viewer and bring out the genuine drama within Shakespeare's language. In addition, the close-ups, camera angles, and lighting expertly add to the story. The DVD includes filmographies and a pair of introductions by McKellen. This is a Macbeth to recommend to anyone, any time.-Karen Joan