Macbeth, a respected Thane of Scotland receives a prophecy from three witches that one day he will be King of Scotland. Driven by ambition and the pressure of his wife, Macbeth will stop at nothing until he's king.
Academy Award Nominee Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, X-Men: Apocalypse) stars as Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most beloved characters. Fassbender is rightfully receiving a lot of Awards buzz for his role in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs which hits cinemas later this year, but there hasn't been a tonne of talk about his role in Macbeth, which is unfortunate, as it's easily one of the best performances of the year and of his career. It also helps that Fassbender has the equally as talented Marion Cotillard (Inception) to perform with. Cotillard was perfectly cast as Lady Macbeth and the two had excellent on screen chemistry which will hopefully translate over to their next project; Assassin's Creed which Kurzel is also directing.
As most of you probably know, Macbeth in the story gradually becomes more insane by the minute, driven wild by ambition and greed he loses his mind. As Macbeth becomes more deranged by power, Fassbender got better and better in the role. I won't spoil anything for those who are unfamiliar with the story but a scene in which Macbeth sees the ghost of a former friend is one of the finest sequences I've seen all year and it's all because of Fassbender's completely enthralling performance. Macbeth is a despicable character, he's pure evil, and it's a credit to how good Michael Fassbender is in this role because not once did I stop rooting for him. Kurzel made these characters feel more human than they ever have before, they're not good people but we understand their anguish and greed because of the pain they've endured. The couple are first seen mourning over their dead child and it seems as though everything they do is just an attempt to fill the gap left by that death.
I wasn't sure whether director Justin Kurzel (Assassin's Creed) was going to opt to use the original Shakespearean dialogue but thankfully he does. It takes a minute or two to get into the film purely because of the classic dialogue used but once you're into the story, you'll find it hard to let go as there's an elegance to the way Kurzel tells this classic tale. The excellent storytelling is only improved on with the absolutely jaw dropping cinematography by Adam Arkapaw, whom I hope receives an Oscar nomination for his masterful work on this film, at times the visuals are as powerful as the script.
Macbeth is a violent, intense and masterfully performed Shakespeare adaptation that more than deserves your attention.
Have you seen Macbeth? If so let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97