Macbeth (2018) ***

March 10th, 2018
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Kit Monkman; Cast: Mark Rowley, Akiya Henry, Al Weaver, Dai Bradley; UK 2017, 12

Kit Monkman creates a MACBETH for our times: part-experimental arthouse-cinema, partly a futuristic version of Games of Thrones, his adaptation of the Scottish play is shot entirely on green screen, with background matte painting effects and CGI creating a fleeting world where the camera roves seemingly at will through multiple stages, the action unfolding simultaneously.

Although this film’s aesthetics are anything but realistic, but the acting is physical to the point of open brutality. Macbeth (Rowley) and Lady Macbeth (Henry) are madly obsessed with each other: their lovemaking and post-coital deliberations make them look very much like the Noirish coupling of Laurie and Bart in Joseph H. Lewis’ Gun Crazy: Sex and violence rule their lives in equal parts, and once again, it is the female who is more dangerous than the male. That said, Macbeth does not need any encouragement, he is, after all, a young, successful general. His relationship with Banquo (Weaver) is that of rivalry and hidden admiration. Both are entrenched in violence. But Macbeth not only murders centre stage, but also casually: the slaying of Macduff’s wife is shown at the margin of the frame (again shades of Lewis).

Diverse themes often intermingle: sex and battlefield scenes are woven into each other, the audience always alerted to new thrills that dovetail into one another. Sometimes we lose lose perspective altogether: is the moon inside our outside Macbeth’s bedroom? Then there is the projectionist/porter (Bradley) running a 1909 silent film version of the play directed by Mario Caserini. He seems to function solely in his role as keeper of the past while the main-action might be set any time in the future. Grey and green pre-dominate, the blood-red crimson spurts like arrows into the murky mire of Scotland’s winter. Still looking for a distributor, Monkman’s visionary version of MACBETH is a worthwhile addition to the Scottish play’s canon. AS


Copyright © 2024 Filmuforia