Directed by Justin Kurzel, Macbeth is based on the Shakespearean play of the same name, and follows the title character, the Thane of Glamis (Michael Fassbender), who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife (Marion Cotillard), Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, Macbeth becomes a tyrannical ruler, forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from suspicion, a bloodbath which swiftly takes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.
With phenomenal performances from Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the lead, Macbeth is an incredible, dark retelling of the story, filled with beautifully striking visuals that capture the poetic lustre of this definitive play perfectly.
As an adaptation, Macbeth is faithful to the source material. It’s a little hard to follow at times, due to a mixture of broad Scottish accents and the use of mumbled Shakespearean language, which would be my only criticism. Fortunately, most of us know the story of Macbeth well enough not to have to catch up, with the more well-known quotes standing out with the powerful performances given.
Macbeth is exactly what an adaptation of a Shakespeare play should look and feel like. If this film wasn’t an adaptation, however, it would benefit from seeing more of Lady Macbeth’s descent into madness and suicide, and a much more impacting ending, but Kurzel obviously didn’t want to move away from the original material, which in itself is a great quality of this film.
As well as fantastic performances from Fassbender and Cotillard, there’s also some great support from Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, and Sean Harris.
Macbeth is set to be released on DVD on 1st February.
DVD extras include:
- An interview with Director Justin Kurzel
- Three exclusive featurettes:
– ‘The Special Effects of Macbeth’
– ‘Macbeth, Casualty of War’
– ‘Lady Macbeth’.