The Festival de Cannes 2015 competition ended today with the dark and cruel Macbeth by Justin Kurzel, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s inexhaustible play.
Justin Kurzel (Royaume Uni/Australie) – 1h53
The adaptation of one of the most famous Shakespeare‘s works by Justin Kurzel gives an intense, dense and dark film, where war, desire and madness prevail.
Macbeth offers stunning images, often shrouded with the haze hanging over the Scottish moors and gradually darkens the mind of the ambitious Scottish general who, urged by his wife, became a tortured and bloody king.
The Sisters of Fate
Norway and Scotland are at war. The battle of Ellon sees the victory of the brave Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), the “darling of Bravery” over a dissident, after a bitter fight with an uncertain outcome. The combat scenes are interspersed with slow motion expressing the savagery of the faces and the horror of the mutilated bodies in the battle. After the victory, the Sisters of Fate appear and predict that Macbeth will be Thane of Cowdon and king. As for his friend Banquo (Paddy Considine), his offspring will have a royal destiny.
What is done can not be undone
On the battlefield, the coronation of King Macbeth as Thane of Cowdon as a reward for his bravery, is proving the first part of the prediction. Just as her husband warrior is back home, Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) urges him to achieve the second part by assassinating the king. At night, after Lady Macbeth has intoxicated the guards, her husband commits the irreparable. What is done can not be undone.
Invulnerable against any attack
Once crowned king, his first action is to have Banquo killed by henchmen, but his son is saved by one of the Sisters of Fate, who – consulted again – ensures that the murderer king will be “invulnerable against attacks from a man coming out of a mother’s womb.” His thirst for power, the ghosts and demons that inhabit his mind, will push him into a bloodthirsty madness that will precipitate the death of his wife.
Respect of the original text
The director has respected the text in verse, in the form and spirit, keeping the medieval language sometimes difficult to understand – even for an English- and the actors have managed to avoid the pitfall of theatricality when confronting these dialogues difficult to say for whom is not a trained Shakespearean actor – a prowess for Marion Cotillard who adopted the Scottish accent.
The Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender is impressive of strength and conviction in his character lost at the first murder, when “bitterness was poured into the cup of his serenity” and overwhelmed by the bloodbath that followed.
As background to this life that “is but a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury”, the staging offers images dark as Macbeth’s thoughts, harsh and melancholic landscapes of moorland, haunted by the hero in his nightgown.
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