Friday, November 18, 2005

Out, Damned Spot!

The milk of human kindness hath runneth dry. I cannot say one kind word about an unfortunate production. The BBC has been reinterpreting Shakespeare with the finesse of a strutting buffalo. Yes, clumsy, meandering and grey. The idea is to transfer Shakespeare comedies and tragedies into modern settings. As a result, on Monday, I watched the most passionless Macbeth of my life. The 21st century Macbeth is a chef in the restaurant of Duncan Docherty. It was really painful to see a wispy Macbeth wielding a kitchen knife alongside a screechy (Lady) Macbeth, forgettable Macduff and the rest. Duncan was the only character which stayed true-benign, sweet and wronged but it just wasn’t enough.

I don’t even want to talk about last week’s Much Ado About Nothing, set in a newsroom, though it did have the benefit of better lead actors. Next week is The Taming of the Shrew and I really would like to know how they plan to reinterpret the most chauvinistic of Shakespeare’s plays. Maybe not.


At 11/18/2005 12:59:00 pm, Blogger may said...

at times like these, always read the original ;-) it's not just Shakespeare that suffers misinterpretation, most good reads these days have been turned into a hollywood action movie of some sort, and somehow almost all managed to fall way short of expectations. humph.

At 11/22/2005 05:02:00 am, Blogger Jane Sunshine said...

The key in Shakespeare is in the interpretation but when that fails you end up with bland Macbeths and the like. But I must add a redemption note as I did manage to catch the Taming of the Shrew last night, another in the series. I must say it was fantastic. Really, really good.

Agree abt Hollywood'izing' some books though-ghastly though there have been very good adaptations. I am next waiting for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

At 11/27/2005 12:09:00 am, Blogger Ms.B said...

The one and only time I could read an unabridged Shakespeare was for my English Literature paper for SPM, and even then, it was only Romeo & Juliet, one of the simplest plots to understand! Hehehe!! And if I had in fact remained in Form Six then I would have ventured into King Lear - thank God I didn't, as I'm sure I'd flunk!!

I'd be quite content to just delve into Lamb's abridged versions and/or better still, those nice, illustrated bumper issues which usually come out near Christmas!! Reading one now which I stole from my dad!!

I like Shakespearean plots, but I do believe that I do not have the patience to slowly interpret the stories. Terrible aren't I? :p

Those BBC remakes might just work for pea-brained me!!

At 11/30/2005 06:18:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well some of the plots are quite easy. And yeah ye olde bard has a way with words (or every word, almost.) When i still had the time it was really fun.. like he was sharing a secret joke with you.

At 11/30/2005 06:26:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"out, damned Spot !"

What did the man say to his dog, who just peed on the carpet again ?


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