Presenting Polanski’s Protrayal

Roman Polanski’s Macbeth film adaptation was a very interesting movie to watch. I thought Roman Polanski’s portrayal of Macbeth was a great representation of his personality and actions.

[1] the theme of this movie made me think of Halloween movies , so I can relate with that kind of atmosphere

Polanski’s atmosphere of the film was overall very creepy; the background music in some scenes made it seem as if it was a scary movie. For example the scenes at 39:20 and at 1:16:14.

The atmosphere was dark and violent, with all the murder/fight scenes being more violent than I expected , such as at 39:20 and 2:00:20.  These are effective choices given that Macbeth itself is a very dark and creepy play (for instance: the witches, Macbeth’s psychological downfall, the world falling out of order after Duncan’s death such as the horses eating each other,), since a lot of murders go in the play it is reasonable that the film adaptation would be violent.

[2] The scene where Banquo is killed looks like this image

Light is used in various ways in this film. One way it is used is to illustrate the settings. For instance at 1:05:26 when Banquo is being killed the forest is very dark , increasing the tension as you watch it. It is also used to make scenes creepier for example; at 1:16:25 it’s dark before Macbeth visits the witches and at 1:17:20 when Macbeth visits the witches for a second prophecy, their faces are highlighted by the cauldron but everything else is dark. All the outside scenes look as if they are misty and foggy.

Roman Polanski chose to use very eerie music as background music for example at 1:16:09 when Macbeth goes to visit the witches, the music is very eerie sounding and almost suggests that something strange is going to happen. Or such as at 1:19:56 when Macbeth is viewing the three prophecies, the music is very strange. They are used effectively because they go along with the eerie scenes in the play.

The sound effects that are used are the voice overs for Macbeth speaking to himself, or the moment when Macbeth sees the dagger at 34:50 and when he tries to touch it at 35:03. The voice overs are used effectively because they really illustrate Macbeths speaking as his thoughts , rather than him talking to himself. The sound effects when Macbeth sees the daggers are effective; although it seems strange that a imaginary dagger would make a “ping” noise.

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[3] Did people wear these in the 11th century?

Costumes in this film adaptation overall look like what I imagine the eleventh century clothes to look like. In some scenes the clothes look off, for example at 1:23:07 , the man in the green has very odd sleeves. The witches also did not have beards, and sometimes didn’t wear much clothes at all , which I thought was weird.

I believe Polanski’s casting in this film is very good. Lady Macbeth’s portrayal as a dainty, innocent woman was interesting given her manipulative personality in the beginning of the play. Macbeth’s actor did a great job as well, specifically at looking like he had been psychologically impacted, and playing out the role of the violent and sleep deprived Macbeth at the end.

Roman Polanski removed many lines from his film adaptation , such as much of the porters lines which were:

“Knock ,knock , knock (2.3.3) and “Here’s a farmer, that hang’d himself on th’ expectation of plenty. Come in time! Have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat for’t. (Knock.) Knock, knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.  Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. “ (2.3.5-14)

“I had thought to have let in some of all professions” (2.3.16-17)

”Therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him. “ (2.3.31-32)

“but I requited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him.” (2.3.34-37)

There are a few words changed, they changed the “him” to you in lines 28-31 (it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to)

I think that this is the most major change in the lines in the film , because all of the equivocation parts are gone from the Porter’s speech. I think this impacted the Porters scene dramatically and turned into a funnier scene.

Overall I thought the film adaptation was a great portrayal of Macbeth. I believe this interpretation was effective because the overall atmosphere of the movie fit with the play. The strange music went along with the dark scenes and the actors did a great job at portraying the characters dramatically. The only area I would suggest for improvement would be the prophecies scene with the witches at 1:18:40 because it is confusing and weird to watch. The various mirrors make me dizzy and I didn’t understand what was going on until the end of the movie. In general, I believe Roman Polanski did a great job.

[1] Halloween Pumpkin. Web. 8 May 2015.

[2]  Creepy Forest. Web. 8 May 2015.

[3] (my screenshot)