Macbeth

The reason why I’m not a fan of William Shakespeare has nothing to do with the work itself. As a French-Canadian, I find it difficult to understand what is being said. Heck, some English-speaking folks might also be challenged. The only times I have enjoyed his plays is when they were translated into French. This is the plot: After Scottish General Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) is victorious in the war against Norway, three witches tell him he is soon to become King of Scotland. Having heard of this prophecy, his wife Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) conspires with Macbeth to kill King Duncan (David Thewlis). Then he has to kill again and again to get to the throne or to remain there. This Macbeth owes a lot to the Game of thrones TV series. To say that the production is overblown would be an understatement. Everything is shot in the darkest of fog, or it is always raining. In the opening battle, the soldiers are dirty with war paint, mud and blood. Rivers of blood are cascading from the wounds. You know the makeup department went crazy, when the witches look like characters from Star trek : The next generation. And in the last scene, everything seems to be burning because everything is red. Contrasting that is the minimalist acting from the two leads. Fassbender manages to simultaneously whisper and growl all his lines. My research told me that Lady Macbeth has a classic sleepwalking scene. Someone must have forgotten to tell Marion Cotillard she did not have to sleepwalk through the whole film, because I could not say where the sleepwalking happened and when it stopped. Anyway, Justin Kurzel adapted, rewrote and changed the play so much that purists and lovers of Macbeth are bound to be angry. And me? I just found it dreadful.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Macbeth

Directed by:
Justin Kurzel

Screenplay by:
Jacob Koskoff
Michael Lesslie
Todd Louiso

Starring:
Michael Fassbender
Marion Cotillard
David Thewlis
Paddy Considine
Sean Harris
Elizabeth Debicki

113 min.

Rated 14A

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