Today I went to see an adaptation of my favourite work of Shakespeare which is Macbeth; Macbeth revolves around the story of the title character who after defeating the rebellion against King Duncan of Scotland is visited by three witches who tell him of a prophecy in which he will become king, this plants a seed in his mind and in the mind of his wife Lady Macbeth and together they decide to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is directed by Justin Kurzel and stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, David Thewlis, Elizabeth Debicki, Jack Reynor and Paddy Considine.
When discussing an adaptation of one of Shakespeare's tragedies the plot and dialogue can't really be talked about as they are centuries old text that is loved and revered by many; I'll mention it anyway as I think Macbeth is a masterpiece, all the dialogue is put in for a reason and the plot is very intriguing and goes deep into a bunch of issues that are very interesting. It's safe to say I love this play and I have seen many adaptations of it both in film and on stage (most recently Kenneth Branagh's) so I was definitely excited before going into this film, I was also excited because the director of this film is the director for the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie based on one of my favourite game franchises of all time. The actual adaption is very good for a number of reasons, which include: outstanding acting, good pacing, beautiful visuals and stunning action scenes. Cotillard and Fassbender play a memorable Macbeth and Lady Macbeth executing the Shakespearean language with such emotion and intensity. The play normally lasts around three and bit hours but the film is just under two so obviously scenes have been cut to reduce the run time, however I found that even though I noticed the scenes that were missing what was left still managed to competently tell the story and used screen time while a monologue was happening to visually show scenes that were cut (like the death of the Thane of Cawdor). The landscapes used in this film are stunning to look at and the visuals used in the battle scenes like the mist in the initial civil war and the glow from the burning forests made those scenes a bit more unique; also all the scenes with Macbeth seeing apparitions or the witches were shot in a very effective way to give a haunting manor to those scenes. When listening to Mark Kermode's review he mentioned the action was 300-esque so I was expecting all slow-motion, the slow-motion is there but only to set the scene the actual action was very well shot and felt gritty and brutal which fits the tone of the film and the accompanying play.
I do have one very minor issue with the film which is barely an issue at all which is that all the cast except Marion Cotillard have Scottish accents, while I wouldn't want to see Cotillard do a Scottish accent it feels slightly out of place for her to be the only one that doesn't. Overall I thought this was a very good adaptation of Macbeth and it is one that makes me happy because one I love the play and two it means Assassin's Creed might actually be good, so taking everything into consideration I rate this film: