EIFF 2016 Review: Macbeth Unhinged (2016)

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This experimental take on Shakespeare’s famous tale of desire and betrayal from writer, director and star Angus Macfadyen is a deconstruction too far – one that alienates, rather than intrigues audiences. Set almost exclusively within the confines of a limousine as it drives around an abandoned city, confusion arrives early as the familiar story becomes unfamiliar, losing much of its impact – and sense – from the undefined setting and disordered approach. The claustrophobia is perhaps heightened somewhat, but the traits of the characters and progression of Macbeth’s madness is lost to audio and camera trickery (almost the entire film is in black and white) that proves too disorientating for a film that’s already difficult to engage with. It’s ambitious and acted with conviction, though there’s also no clear or defined point for its existence other than as a test of patience. It makes for an experience that’s harsh and extremely difficult to understand, certainly one of the least comprehensible Shakespeare adaptations.

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