Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays is as unconventional as it is powerful, using the vast, fog-covered highlands as a powerful tool to convey the brutal emotions on display in the Scottish play, which tells the story of a man whose ambitions got the better of him but whose conscience starts eating away at his sanity the moment he rises to the top.
In this film that carries his name, Michael Fassbender stars as Macbeth, and from the very first moment he appears to be a man of deep who has also been deeply affected by a personal crisis.
Unlike most other productions, this adaptation does not open with the Weird Sisters’ rhythmic incantations of “fair is foul and foul is fair.” Instead, the striking opening shot is a close-up of the body of a baby lying lifeless on the heath shortly before it is set alight. A reaction shot of Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, make it clear they are the heartbroken parents.
This departure from the classical presentation of the material immediately indicates that we will be in for a very different kind of Macbeth than we are used to.
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(Still of Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender in Macbeth. © 2015 – StudioCanal)