Understanding the Bard

Plays Unravelled

Understanding the Bard

 A scene from Macbeth.

A joint venture of British Council and the Bangalore Film Society, the festival is bringing alive Shakespeare to the audience by screening films based on his popular plays.

The festival is scheduled till September 18 and will screen as many as 13 of  Shakespeare’s plays in the movie format. On the first day of the festival, Macbeth a film produced by BBC and directed by Jack Gold, was showcased. The film which is a part of  BBC Television’s Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare is the ambitious attempt in bringing the ‘Bard of Avon’ to the small screen.

It has Nicol Williamson as Macbeth and Jane Lapotaire as Lady Macbeth. The experience of watching the gradual shift of Macbeth from a heroic, conscience-concerned warrior to a cold-blooded and ruthless tyrant was impressive and the powerful narration was worth watching.

The audience at the festival.The effort by the British Council and Bangalore Film Society received a overwhelming response from the audience as film enthusiasts turned out in large numbers.

Though many of them had already read and watched the play, for a few, it was a novel experience watching Macbeth. “I have not read this work before. However, I have heard that some people used to believe that this play was cursed as many bad events had happened during its theatrical production. In the theatre scenario, many people have become famous essaying the role of Macbeth. So, I utilised this opportunity to understand this tragedy,” says Reba, a literature lover.

There were many school children, theatre lovers and literature students as part of the audience. Interestingly, some have brought the original work along with them and kept referring to it every now and then.  “The original play has many quirks of language and obscure allusions. So, the play is difficult to understand in its original form. But as the film has a simpler English, it is easy to get a better grasp of Macbeth’s tale. So, I carried the book with me and kept on comparing the film adoption with it,” says Mahendran, a student.

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