Run time: 113 mins
Director: Justin Kurzel
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, David Hayman, Paddy Considine, Jack Reynor, David Thewlis and Sean Harris
Synopsis: Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself
‘All Hail Macbeth’…Hail to one of the best films of the year and one of the finest adaptations of Shakespeare’s great tragedy to be put on screen.
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in this bold, brutal take on ‘the Scottish play’. Amidst the bloodshed and brooding wastes of the Scottish landscape, ambitious general Macbeth has proven his worth against traitors on the battlefield. However, Macbeth’s hunger for power is such that, with the insidious collaboration of his scheming wife (Marion Cotillard), he himself turns traitor and murders King Duncan (David Thewlis) to seize the throne. Very soon, Macbeth’s attempts to consolidate his power result in violence, carnage and the inevitable ultimate fate for this tragic ‘hero’. One of Shakespeare’s most famous, enduring and bloodthirsty plays, its themes of hubris, betrayal and dishonour now get a visceral, dynamic re-working. With two explosive central performances from Fassbender and Cotillard, there is a strong supporting cast including Paddy Considine, Jack Reynor, David Thewlis and Sean Harris.
The presence and rich vocal tones of popular Glasgow actor David Hayman add gravitas to the role of Lennox who eventually turns against the tyrannical Macbeth. Cinema and theatre-goers of a certain age may recall Hayman’s previous appearance in Macbeth in a 1979 Citizens’ Theatre production, where he played Lady Macbeth to Gerard Murphy’s Macbeth.
There is also an all-too-brief glimpse of another local favourite, Geordie-born but Scots-adopted, Maurice Roeves, who plays another of the Thanes, Menteith.
Director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, 2011) brings Shakespeare’s great tragedy to life with bloodthirsty gusto, thanks to stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and the strong supporting cast. This visceral interpretation places emphasis on the physical conflict – transposing much of the action to bloody battle scenes set against the epic Scottish landscape. Fassbender excels as the brave general whose ambition leads him to guilt-ridden moral ruin, and Cotillard conveys Lady Macbeth’s power-hungry descent into madness with nuanced sophistication. Shot in locations including Skye and the Highlands, this is a brilliantly bold adaptation that bears all the hallmarks of authenticity.
This new film is expected to pique visitor interest both in the stunning locations where the movie was filmed and the landscapes where Macbeth, the real eleventh century Scottish king, lived out his tumultuous life, rather at variance with Shakespeare’s version.
Visit Scotland has provided an illustrated guide to explore the land of Macbeth, at: http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/macbeth/
It tells the story of the real King Macbeth, a fearless warrior and inspiring leader, pictures the historic sites and dramatic landscapes connected with him, and showcases the stunning Isle of Skye which provides most of the backdrop for Justin Kurzel’s mesmerising film adaptation of Macbeth.
Images courtesy of Studio Canal