Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Toil and Trouble

Scottland, PA was honestly disappointing. It wasn’t bad, the performances were strong, and I chuckled through it, but the material never really took off, and for a concept like “Macbeth transplanted to fast food” it was a real letdown. Part of it was the setting, the 1970s, which I wasn’t expecting and took awhile to catch onto. That’s my own fault, but it’s also something of a problem in itself in that it takes a very familiar story from the 17th century, brings it into the 1970s, but looks and sounds like the late 90s, making it (especially in the beginning) feel artificial and hard to get into. A much larger problem is the direction, which was just… flat. The rock songs on the soundtrack were more distracting than enhancing (except for a slow motion track on the McBeths that doesn’t last nearly long enough for its rude interruption to be fully effective), the general cinematography is television bland (forgivable, I suppose, since it’s an indie), and the lighting—in particular the soft red/orange that the Mcbeths were constantly covered in—was obnoxious. There were a few nice moments that worked, like Mcbeth catching sight of the “Witches” and knocking Duncan into the deep fryer was, and the previously mentioned slomo shot, even if it was cut short. There’s some real potential, and I’ll keep my ears open for what the director does next. But the product we have never rises to hysterical levels. The weirdness of the Weird ‘Sisters’ feels forced, even with Andy Dick on board, and character traits like McDuff’s vegetarianism or Donald being gay are just…there. Maybe this is one of those things that’s just not for me.

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