“All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter…”
As a filmmaker or an actor, there is no go-to piece of work to adapt like that of William Shakespeare. With over four hundred adaptions of his work for film, and what seems like endless ideas for retelling his plays, Shakespeare is still a hot guy in Hollywood. While you have the modern takes on his stories, when a actor really wants to show their range you go for the classics, something to display their acting chops. “Macbeth” has had its fair share of great actors playing him. Names like Orson Wells, Laurence Olivier, and Kenneth Branagh, there is always someone new and great who you would want to see get their hands on this character.
For me, my short list would include Michael Fassbender, and luckily someone was listing. “Macbeth” for those who don’t know is the story of a man who would kill a king in order to become one. While that sums up the story, there is so much more to it. Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) has just won a battle for his King, and has been given a new title for doing so. With the King coming to a celebration, Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) urges him to kill the king so that he can take his place, as it was foretold in a prophecy from three witches. After succeeding, and becoming king, Macbeth starts to be engulfed by guilt and paranoia and soon begins to kill more to protect him from suspicion. Which then caused Macbeth to spiral into a madness that will be the undoing of both he and the Lady Macbeth in the end.
“Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, and maybe one of the better stories for a cinematic turn. A trio of writters, Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, and Todd Louiso, all do a brilliant job of adapting Shakespeare’s original work. While the words mean so much, especially for a story from Shakespeare, the movie really shines with the acting and the backdrop that is the Highlands of Scottland. Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom) uses natural light to capture the beautifully haunting Highlands in all their glory. Adding to the visuals, is a score from Jed Kurzel (Slow West) that captures what you are seeing with your eyes almost perfectly. All this would be for nothing, if the right actors were not found to play such iconic characters. Fassbender and Cotillard are two of the very best, and fall into character with ease, while putting their own stamp on parts that have been done so perfectly before. This is one of those movies that is just a sensory pleasure zone, and will have you sitting still as the credits roll in front of you. While not every word is comprehendible because of the combination of a Scottish accent and Shakespearian dialogue, it doesn’t take away from the movie one bit. With so many films to choose from that were written by the most famous playwright, you have to choose wisely. With the adaption of “Macbeth” you would have done so, and you just might say at the end “All hail Macbeth. That was a damn good movie.”