The Perfect Porter

Macbeth Journal entry #4

In Polanski’s version of Macbeth, the Porter scene is very similar to that in the book. I find Shakespeare creates a very dark and scary setting when the Porter recites his soliloquy. But, in  Polanski’s movie I don’t get the same feeling. I think this mainly because this movie was created a long time ago and they obviously didn’t have the technology we have now to create a stronger message through props, and special effects. Although, the way Polanski executed the scene was excellent and was very easy to understand. In contrast to the movie and the book, I noticed Polanski had the Porter skip every few lines which wasn’t very noticeable unless examined thoroughly because of how well it flowed. However, in my opinion, the best version of the Porter scene is shown through the 2010 rendition of Macbeth . It is a spot on representation of the play written by Shakespeare. In comparison to Polanski’s, the lighting plays a KEY factor in achieving the right mood for the audience. This is seen in Macbeth’s 2010 re-make when the Porter becomes lost in the darkness at times and shows up from the flashes of lighting. If you skip to 1:08 in the video below you can see the positive effects the lighting plays.

Along with the lighting, the 2010 Macbeth rendition is directed to perfection with the execution of setting, props and wardrobe. First, the setting seems to take place in down town Detroit or New York. This creates a very sketchy and dark vibe to the audience. If Shakespeare were to create a modern day version of this scene the setting would be just that! Secondly, the props implemented in the scene, as well as the Porter allow the viewers to easily detect what is happening. the strongest prop I found was the bottle of alcohol and by seeing it in the Porter’s hand you could tell he had a little too much to drink. Last but not least, the wardrobe which was very simple but portrayed a strong message. The porter was dressed in a wife beater and what seemed to be lounge pants (pajamas or track pants). Just from seeing  the bottle in his hand and the way he was dressed, you could tell he wasn’t somebody you wanted to run into. To conclude,  All of those aspects put together create and best represent the atmosphere and mood of the play Macbeth written back in the 15th century.