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article imageReview: Fassbender is electrifying in Macbeth Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 4, 2015 in Entertainment
The new adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth is an electrifying, battle-heavy movie complete with film noir-ish cinematography. The movie is highly recommended, especially for lovers of fine acting.
Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, The Turning) is a new movie adaption of William Shakespeare's Elizabethan play The Tragedy of Macbeth. The movie stars a charismatic Michael Fassbender and an elegant Marion Cotillard, charting the rise and fall of the eponymous Macbeth.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the central theme is the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition. The plot focuses on Macbeth, a Scottish nobleman (Thane of Cawdor), who, driven by the urging of his wife, kills the King of Scotland (Duncan) and takes his place. Wracked by visions and guilt, Macbeth rules by tyranny and fear, until his final showdown with Macduff, and avenging hero of the murdered King Duncan.
The new interpretation is heavy on atmospheric slow motion battles and swirling mists. It is also focused on the extent that political ambition can drive a person, and how the effects of battle and stress can trigger delusional paranoia. Unlike previous screen adaptations (and indeed, Shakespeare's text), the supernatural elements are downplayed. The three witches do appear, but it is less certain in Kurzel's version whether they are indeed witches or a projection within Macbeth's own mind. "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble" does not feature, for instance.
While the atmosphere of Scotland in the middle ages is well created and the use light and sound wonderfully enhanced for the smouldering landscapes, the movie is centered on the powerful performances from Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Both seemed born to play these parts. Fassbender is particular gives some agonized deliveries for Macbeth's tortured moments, bringing the language alive.
This is a physical and exciting film. The movie is worth watching on the big screen to appreciated the wide scope of the cinematography. Digital Journal rating: 5 out of 5.
More about macbeth, michael fassbender, Shakespeare, Marion Cotillard
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