Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Week 38: Macbeth

Director: Justin Kurzel
Writers:  Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso (screenplay) based on the play by
William Shakespeare           
Seen: 3rd of October
Venue: IMC Galway
Snacks: Munchies (not as nice as they used to be)
Mood: Shakespearian

When I saw Justin Kurzel first feature The Snowtown Murders (2012) I was blown away. A film based on the shocking true events of a serial killer in Australia, it bore the marks of a new brave director, as scene after scene pushed the audience to the edge. My view at the time was to keep an eye out for his next venture but I presumed he would continue to make contemporary realistic films. So when I found out he was to direct Macbeth I was a little surprised but then excited. The excitement came from an anticipation to see how such a creative director would present one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays visually and cinematically. My excitement grew even more when I heard the cast – Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Paddy Considine as Banquo and David Thewlis as Duncan
Macbeth is the story of a Scottish warrior (Macbeth) who becomes King by means of killing his predecessor (Duncan) and how his mind then deteriorates as Macbeth himself describes “my mind is full of Scorpions”. The interesting thing about Kurzel’s interpretation is you really get a sense of the harshness of that time and the mental state of a man who struggles with his very existence. Kurzel and Fassbender say that they saw Macbeth as having post-dramatic stress disorder, which makes sense for a man who was both battled hardened and war weary.

So did it live up to my excitement? In short yes, well at least in cinema terms - it is simply a sublime adaption. However, Shakespeare is a hard sell sometimes, predominately because the language/dialogue does require a considerable amount of concentration. Macbeth is visually powerful and the performances are all top shelf especially by Cotillard and Fassbender and if you can manage the difficult dialogue it is certainly worth seeing.

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