Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Macbeth is a gangster story. Every gangster story I have seen is the story about the rise and fall of one criminal / murderer. The collapse of hope is necessary because the gangster story is trying to teach us about human frailty, we are all gonna die. The loss at the end of the story is a neccessary conterpoint to fleeting joy earlier. The other message is that treachery is in all our hearts. Trust no one.

The other great Shakespearian gangster story is Richard III. A guy whacks his brother, "protects" his nephews, marries his sister-in-law, has success, finally falls to another thug. The thing about Shakespear's plays is that most of the histories and tragedies that deal with the struggle for power could easily be described as "gangster stories". This movie is at least the fifth movie version of "mafia Macbeth".

This is an adaption. The director defended his process of cutting and pasting by explaining that much of the play, as written, is made to fit the requirements and standards of The Lord Chamberlain's Men. Shakespear wrote for a large company that all needed the work. Most of the lords except for Banquo and Malcolm have been merged into two or three characters. The re arranging is justified as something that the bard, as a working stage director as well as playwright would understand. The words themselves remain. There is no rewritting of the actual words, unlike in some other adaptations.

This is a pleasantly gory Macbeth. Sometimes gun battles can be staged to be more antiseptic than the hacking glory of sword work. The blood does need to be spilled in this story. The final gory battle between Malcolm and Macbeth is knockdown fight with guns, fists and knives. Cool.

What I learned: The police can be usefull allies in a gangland war.

1 comment:

;0 said...

Macbeth is about the play right??
so well is it at all like the play and is there a play???