Director: Justin Kurzel
Writer: Todd Louiso, Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s play
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Scot Greenan, Jack Reynor, Sean Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, Brian Nickels, Kayla Fallon, Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter, Amber Rissmann
Seen on: 6.11.2015
Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and Banquo (Paddy Considine) just fought successfully for King Duncan (David Thewlis) and are finally on their way home. In the woods, they meet four witches (Kayla Fallon, Lynn Kennedy, Seylan Baxter, Amber Rissmann) who predict, among other things, that Macbeth will become King. Spurred on by that prophecy and uncontent to just wait for it to come true, Macbeth and his wife (Marion Cotillard) hatch the plan to help things along when Duncan comes to visit. But murder comes with moral consequences – and it might not be the only thing necessary to make Macbeth King.
Macbeth unfortunately was an absolute disappointment. I don’t think I have ever seen a more monotous film, and that with Macbeth as your basis as well!
I’m all for shortening Shakespeare plays. I like reading the unabridged versions, but I’m really not a fan of endless theater productions or movies. So, go ahead an cut away. Change stuff. But please, when you do, let the characters live. In this version of the play, there were no characters, especially no supporting ones, there were empty shells. [Also, it bothered me a weird amount, but there it was: why are there four, or if you count the baby even five, witches? The fucking film starts with “when shall we three meet again?” *four/five people looking at each other*]
And those empty shells were all portrayed in the same way. Michael Fassbender acts in the same way as Marion Cotillard as Paddie Considine etc etc etc. There is no individualized portrayal of their respective characters (or what’s left of them), there is just one way that they do it. Leading to the the second biggest source of boredom in the film.
The biggest source of monotony, though, was that Kurzel obviously has no understanding why mood changes are an essential component to telling a story. Why there are still jokes in a cruel, dramatic, sad play like Macbeth – something Shakespeare understood very well. Every single single bit of the play that is not foggy drama, brutality and despair has been cut from the play and even with its pacing, the film starts on a hundred and stays on a hundred and with no point of reference that isn’t on a hundred, the result isn’t speed, it’s stillness.
The film does look good and obviously a lot of thinking went into the color scheme and the shots. But a color concept doesn’t make a movie and in this case, there is more than one thing miising to make the film work for me at all.
Summarizing: I’d much rather watch the Globe version again. And again.