Dark, Atmospheric, the smell of peat bogs seep through the screen, as a viewer I got a true sense of the surroundings as I watch the new film adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth unfold.
Set in the stunning back drop of the Isle of Skye, the film is visually beautiful with that blood red colour assaulting my senses from the beginning. For those who are well polished up on their Shakespeare you will truly love this, indeed William would be proud himself of just how well Justin Kurzel has put this on screen. For people who are not properly rehearsed on the old english of Shakespeare, you will at times find it difficult to follow, in no way however do I intend to discourage the movie as in my opinion, this is the finest example of William Shakespeare you will ever find on film.
As Macbeth, Michael Fassbender is flawless, a “mind full of scorpions”, gritty and eye catching as we slowly watch him loose his throne he so desperately wanted, and his mind with it, as he becomes racked with guilt and paranoia following the savagely intense murder of King Duncan played by David Thewlis. Thewlis spoke of the work “The film translates rather beautifully. Justin Kurzel (the director) has turned it into a real visual spectacle which is what you should do. We kept the original text – not the whole play, obviously – and that has been adapted and is really a stunning piece of cinema in terms of the visuals.”
His statement is as true as written. Along side Fassbender wonderfully supporting is Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, a role she executes with an ice cold, almost ghostly aura as she and the trio of witches push Macbeth to commit the murder of King Duncan, a scene that is truly an assault on senses. Her personal stand out scene for me is the rendition of Lady Macbeth sleep walking, which in turn is the point that she slowly begins to spiral into dark regret and despair, joining her husband. In an honest opinion stand-out performances are delivered from all of the cast members throughout, Paddy Considine as Stolid and Sean Harris as Macduff.The film gives a tingling feeling of death, from the opening scene of the little boy being laid to rest in traditional fashion, to the blood red sun-rays and soaked battle scenes which are brutally authentic. Fassbender almost has a ghoulish, reaper-esq appearance on those scenes with dark, thick paint down his face.
Over-all the film is mesmerising and well worth a look because it is so true to the original 400 year old drama. I would happily say its in a cemented legendary position along with the likes of Roman Polanki’s rendition, however for me what elevates this above the latter even further is the raw, vicious performance of Michael Fassbender which he truly makes his own.
Macbeth is out nationwide from Friday the 2nd of October.