Starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, and Sean Harris
Directed by Justin Kurzel
***This film is currently available on Amazon Prime***
Quite frankly, the storyline here, particularly at the beginning, is incomprehensible. If this were one's first venture into Macbeth, you could never be admonished for not understanding what in the hell is going on. The heavy Scottish accents, mumbled words, and whispered verse are difficult with which to acclimate oneself. I tried for forty minutes, but then had to give in and turn on the subtitles -- oh, well. About an hour in once our title character (played by Michael Fassbender) really takes control of the fiefdom and his wife (Marion Cotillard) begins to recognize the monstrous man she's created, I began to gain interest, but it was too little too late as the dour heaviness of the production just weighs down any modicum of interest.
What the film does do right in terms of the story -- and the few times that the otherwise unemotional and cold Fassbender and Cotillard really shine -- is showcasing the impact that the loss of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's infant son had on them. The film's most powerful moments revolve around paternity and lineage, and my eyes are actually newly opened to this aspect in Shakespeare's work. Kudos in that regard to Justin Kurzel, but while his film contains some beautiful stark cinematography which is admirably shot, that aforementioned dirge-like atmosphere never ends. The bleak and dismal environment isn't the least bit entertaining or captivating and makes this Macbeth an aggravating failure.
The RyMickey Rating: D