Macbeth; visceral and dreamy, yet exposes tiredness on substance
Macbeth is yet another adaptation of the famous 17th century Shakespearean tragedy. The film is a story of loyalty, seduction, desire, betrayal and ultimately, justice. Anyone who has ever even heard of the famous Bard could arguably be well aware of the story of Macbeth.
Macbeth has been adapted countless times into film, from Akira Kurosawa’s feudal Japanese Throne of Blood (1957) to Roman Polanski’s more traditional Macbeth (1971) or even Vishal Bhardwaj’s Indian backdrop of Maqbool (2003). But the question is; does Justin Kurzel’s version bring anything new to the famous story of betrayal?
Macbeth is visually stunning, with each scene cleverly expressed through fog or sunlight, creating a genuinely haunting atmosphere. But apart from its visual representation, Macbeth lacks the narrative depth of the original Bard’s play. The soliloquies are uneven and awkward at times, the character motivations seem unconvincing and the key events occur throughout the film because the plot demands it, rather the characters convincingly acting the emotions out themselves. It’s quite a shame because Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard seem ideal casting for the story but quite frankly, both of them have given better performances in other films.
It is apparent that Kurzel tried hard to revitalise the tale with poetic imagery but it ultimately overbore the narrative itself, muddling the sense of awe and wonder one would receive after watching a magnificent Shakespearean adaptation.
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