The tragic story of Macbeth was not new to me, after studying it a number of times both at school and university. I was intrigued to see what this new adaptation of a Shakespearean classic would achieve, especially with the greater opportunities for scope that film offers.
It certainly didn’t disappoint! The cinematography of the whole film is excellent. It perfectly captures the essence of the story, and the scenery is simply breathtaking! It adds an extra depth that I find is usually missing in stage productions of the play, judging from adaptations that I have seen before. The landscape itself is another character in the story and served as a perfect reflection of the mood in each scene.
I cannot talk about this film without mentioning Michael Fassbender. As you can imagine a lot of pressure probably comes with the role of Macbeth. Despite this Fassbender did a wonderful job! I found his Macbeth much more relatable than any other representation I have seen before and I particularly enjoyed his encounters with the witches throughout the course of the film. Marion Cotillard’s Lady Macbeth was as equally impressive. Both their performances in the scene following the King’s murder were completely captivating.
The decision to stay true to Shakespeare’s original language, coupled with the Scottish accents used by the actors, did demand a lot of concentration at times, but after the first few scenes you get used to it more and more. If anything I would probably say that adds a greater air of authenticity.
The eerie setting and the macabre tone of the film is ideal for the Autumn season! Whilst this film definitely requires you to intellectually engage with the plot a lot more than most films, and at times the language can be quite challenging, it is definitely worth seeing!
It serves as a magnificent introduction to those who have never encountered the story of Macbeth and is a must see if you are already a lover of Shakespeare’s work.
(As a side note, screenings of theatre productions are often shown at many cinemas up and down the country. This includes performances from the National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, and The Royal Ballet.
It serves as a cheaper alternative to going to the theatre, and there is often a wider range of shows on offer. I shall leave the links to some of the cinemas that offer this down below.)