Brilliant. Take away the stage and it's an entirely different story, instead of posturing and shouting it's a tale told like a dream in long silences, slow words, violins, intimate eye contact, and tears. When I think of Macbeth I don't think of horses on the beach, or snowcapped mountains, or the fires of Mordor, but I will from now on. Imagine "the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" crossed with any episode of Viking adventure "The Last Kingdom", all filmed by the crew who make Hannibal TV show, "visually spectacular" doesn't begin to describe it. Outdoors I'm just in awe of our planet, and indoors everyone is lit like a Rembrandt. Normally Mr Fassbender steals the show whatever he is in, but happily he can't here because there's Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, and some sulky kid who doesn't even get any lines to stand up to him. Furthermore, as one critic pointed out, the writing is not bad either.
Great adaptation/interpretation. As others have said the PTSD and other modern day understandings of the greater complexities of war, relationships and the eternal hunger for power, while still true, are not one dimensional things; nothing in the human condition ever is. I did like seeing Macbeth as both a hero in the beginning and as a villain/tragic figure at the end of it all. A timeless tale that will be adapted much more in the future as well.
I first saw the Scottish play at Stratford-on-Avon in Avon, CT, when I was 15, and was consistently given the traditional interpretation of Lady Macbeth as a conniving, cruel, selfish, ambitious woman; and Macbeth as a weak man. This new interpretation of Macbeth living with PTSD is GENIUS, and it rings much truer; the effects on marriages and relationships of the aftermath of war zone experience. It is so important especially now as so many service people and veterans are suffering with PTSD to the point of suiciding, to take this (my favorite) Shakespeare play, and make art reflecting life today. Brilliant actors, outstanding historical fleshout.
Thanks to the pair of easy-on-the-eye lead actors and spectacular Scottish landscape, enjoyed this adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. A critics said “Though last to the party, this account easily takes the prize from the Orson Welles version of 1948 and Roman Polanski’s splatter-movie adaptation of 1971.” Can’t remember those two films but no reason to disagree because of the actors and superior modern film making techniques. If you are still not tired of the story and ready for a new twist, suggest to watch the old Japanese 1957 Samurai version titled “Throne of Blood.”
Note: No choice but to turn on subtitles to follow the old English dialogue.
There are many beautiful images in this Macbeth - misty moors, forbidding mountains, shadowy Gothic buildings illuminated by slanting rays of light. The people, on the other hand, are drab, dirty, and nearly indistinguishable. This does not seem to be an accident. The filmmakers have taken Shakespeare's tale of order and justice shattered by diabolical ambition, dramatized by the vicious descent of the title character into murder and madness, and reimagined it as a tiresome exercise in cynicism, in which all power is guilty, virtue is never more than a mask, and innocence nothing more than ignorance. Muddying up the morality of what may be Shakespeare's most moralistic play also muddies up the plot, and the whole film, like its hero, descends into incoherence despite all of the care spent on set design, cinematography, and costuming.
Macbeth is one of my favorite plays, but I've always been frustrated with how the leads are portrayed: Macbeth isn't bold enough to acknowledge his own ambition until Lady Macbeth selfishly pushes him to it, but both descend into madness once events spiral out of their control. This production gets it right: Lady Macbeth is not barren (an interpretation which never made any sense to me) but the child she and Macbeth had has died. She latches onto the promise made to Macbeth by the witches as a way to salve her grief. Macbeth, for his part, is indeed tempted by what he's promised, and when he wavers, Lady Macbeth does push him through (in a much more sexually charged interpretation than most have seen before). But while she may have been satisfied with the throne, Macbeth becomes obsessed with his destiny--and future.
What fascinates me about Macbeth is his relationship to prophecy: it's a promise, a threat, and a crutch, and his dependence on it changes him from a skilled and brave general to a raving lunatic. Fassbender plays that, as well as his final return to reality, perfectly. And while I always imagined the witches to be the cauldron-stirrers seen in most productions, I thought the director's alternative characterization--and cast addition--was brilliant.
Brutal and raw, but very well done. Fassbender and Cotillard give understated but powerful performances.
Powerful - a bold, inventive adaptation that cuts right to the heart of Macbeth's tragedy. Shakespeare purists may object to some of the liberties taken here (much of the original text has been rearranged or omitted altogether), but the results are so good, it's hard to complain. One gets the impression that every decision the filmmakers made was carefully thought through, in order to craft an authentic portrait of Macbeth and his medieval world. Filmed on location in Scotland, the movie makes the most of the hauntingly beautiful Highland setting. It's like a darker Braveheart. English teachers, show your students this movie - they'll appreciate it. Though a word of warning: The violence is brutal, definitely not for the squeamish.
This adaptation features excellent acting by the two leads, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, as well as striking visuals.
One of, if not, the best adaptation of Shakespeare I've seen on film.
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