When shall we three meet again? the three hags on the blasted heath ask in scene one of the William Shakespeare play Macbeth, the answer is “upon the heath, there to meet with Macbeth”. The story behind this classic play is well known, there are no winners, there are only losers, it is only a question of how badly you lose.

In the intervening years from its creation sometime between 1603 and 1606 many people have cast their own interpretation on this tale. It is an enduring story, and it combines all of the elements of CSI combined with your favorite Soap Opera, there are even aspects of the paranormal in the mix. This classic tale has been retold at just about every Shakespeare festival ever held, and has been converted into many movies, some that follow the dialog, and some that have updated the language to reflect a more ‘hip’ approach!

Australian filmmaker Geoffry Wright has pushed Macbeth into new and different directions. Rather than a battle over royalty as we know it, this is a battle in the underworld of the drug trade in Melbourne, Australia. This is set in the here and now, and it is all about supremacy. In many way the analogy works well, biggest SUV, most expensive Rolex watch, being able to supplicate your detractors, basically this sums up the original plot line of Macbeth quite well. But like many mere mortals he wanted more, Thane of Cawdor was a cute title, but King would be better. We follow our modern day Macbeth in his quest for supremacy.

With Sam Worthington turning in a superb performance, this is must watch film. It did take a few minutes to adjust to the Shakespearian dialog, particularly with the Australian accents, but once I was beyond that hurdle I found a very well thought out movie. A movie that pulls you into the plot line, for example, the witches are now teenage schoolgirls, resplendent in school uniform, but still as grim and foreboding as the classic hags.

This is dark, the story line is dark, the filmography is dark, even daylight seems dark when Geoffry Wright has finished with it. This might not be a movie that appeals to the great unwashed masses that flock to the 20 screen megaplex, but it certainly will find a home with the thinking movie fan.

Simon Barrett


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