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Macbeth Review

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Your average moviegoer would hardly equate the works of William Shakespeare with intense and brutal action, given that the more recent adaptations of his work have focused more on the romantic or literary dramatic plays he wrote, but Macbeth is up there with the best thrillers this year.

The story of Macbeth is a tragic tale of murder, deception and betrayal. When he encounters three witches that tell of a prophecy that will see him become the King of Scotland, Macbeth sets out on a dark and bloody path to fulfill his destiny, spurred on by his malevolent wife. The consequences of his actions take their toll though, and it isn't long before the king must face his demons or be driven slowly insane by them.


Director Justin Kurzel isn't so much interested in remaining faithful to the original text as he is making a cogent version of the story, and populating it with powerful, fiercely provocative and intelligent characters. His film is held together by a stunning performance from Michael Fassbender, who embraces the role and gives the kind of raw and unrestrained turn that usually signals serious awards recognition. Marion Cotillard also gives a great performance as Lady Macbeth, as ambitious, devious and seductive as her husband is fiery and wrathful.

The film is beautifully shot and framed too, mixing brutally visceral battle scenes with the tense, verbal sparring of the cast. Drenched in brooding darkness and hellish hues that linger on the landscape, it looks brilliant. There is a sense of foreboding permeating the movie and because of the changes made to the story, an air of uncertainty about where it's all taking us lingers.


Justin Kurzel's Macbeth is a gritty and intense affair, held together by some very strong supporting performances and a lead actor who is nothing short of mesmerising. Purists may lament the changes but by altering the story to suit his filmmaking style he has managed to reinvent a classic and deliver a spectacular and bold adaptation of one of the most famous plays ever written.


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The Movie Bit: Macbeth Review
Macbeth Review
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