After receiving a prophecy from three witches, Macbeth the Thane of
Glamis murders the King of Scotland and takes the throne for himself.
Directed by Justin Kurzel
Written by Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso
Starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard,
Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, David Thewlis
Based on the stage play by William Shakespeare
Macbeth is a story that has been told countless times and very few iterations stand out because they are all pretty much identical. Justin Kurzel's adaptation, however, stands out because it goes one step further and turns Shakespeare's classic play from a tale of madness to a cold-blooded tale of vengeance. I believe that this is one of the most entertaining and memorable versions of Macbeth ever adapted to film, thanks to an immensely talented cast and a haunting, foreboding score by Jed Kurzel.
Michael Fassbender is one of the strongest actors working today. Every performance he gives is powerful, with his turn as the Scottish king Macbeth being no exception. It's difficult to perform Shakespeare without overacting or looking pompous. Both he and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth accomplished this by delivering solemn, uneasy performances that consistently reminded the audiences just how unhinged they really are. I thought that for his brief turn as Banquo, Paddy Considine did a serviceable job, as did David Thewlis as the unfortunate King Duncan. Sean Harris, however, knocked it out of the park as the unlikely third act hero Macduff. Overall, this film would've been nothing without its stellar cast.
Adapting Shakespeare to film is no easy task. To make it stand out amongst the hundreds of other adaptations, you have to somehow put your own mark on it that will make people remember your version as the best version. Justin Kurzel did just that. He recreated the feel and atmosphere of 11th century Scotland, as well as ensured subdued but powerful performances from his actors. I couldn't be more excited for Kurzel's Assassin's Creed movie. With this film, he proved he's a name in directing that will definitely be popping up again.