Michael Fassbender is always a draw to the cinema for me. He improves any film he is in by at least 25%. Macbeth was therefore already a must see for me. It is without any hesitation that I say it should be must see for everyone.
Macbeth, is (as we all remember from GCSE / O Level English Literature classes) a Thane of Scotland given 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, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Fassbender dazzles in the lead role depicting the descent into paranoia and madness quite brilliantly. Marion Cotillard is equally compelling as Lady Macbeth although her role, vital in the text, is somewhat watered down. This does not seem to hold her back though as her intensity matches Fassbender’s brilliantly and they form a memorable on-screen partnership that will surely go on to set the standard for future productions.
As always with the works of Shakespeare I did spend the first period of the film getting my brain to adapt to the language but I was so engrossed in what I was seeing that my eyes rarely left the screen.
This is one of the most intense films of 2015. The cinematography that makes it impossible to look away from the screen. The opening battle sequence, for example, is something that will live long in the memory. The switch from full force to slow-motion is dazzling and shows not the intensity of battle but the vicious nature of war in a different time.
Also given the nature of my blog I loved watching Fassbender and Cotillard dip in and out of the light shining from the crosses etched into the side of the church in the film’s early sections. Their swaying back and forth from shadow to light as they wrestle with their consciences and debate their actions was for me a lovely touch.
It goes without saying that I recommend this film but to go one step further I body declare ‘All hail Macbeth!’