HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Macbeth The Scottish Slay
Year: 2015
Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor, David Thewlis, David Hayman, Maurice Roëves, Elizabeth Debicki, Seylan Baxter, Lynn Kennedy, Kayla Fallon, Brian Nickels, James Harkness, Ross Anderson, Hilton McRae
Genre: HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Marion Cotillard) have just lost their young son, but there is no time for mourning as the war between King Duncan of Scotland (David Thewlis) and his rival to the throne Macdonwald (Hilton McRae) is still raging, and Macbeth has pledged his allegiance to Duncan as one of the monarch's most savage combatants. So it is that when the enemy forces amass to square off against the King's men, they meet with a crushing defeat as they are overwhelmed and Macdonwald has his head chopped off by a bloodthirsty Macbeth. Duncan is very pleased, but when his finest soldier is out with his best friend Banquo (Paddy Considine), there is a fateful encounter with four witches…

That's right, you had a bargain with this adaptation of the William Shakespeare play when there was an extra witch free of charge thrown in seemingly for the hell of it, hell being very apt for one of The Bard's grimmest and mysterious works as the characters plot against one another in ways that erupt into bloody violence for however long it takes the drama to unfold. In this case it was just under two hours, so a (damned?) spot of editing had been done, but Australian director Justin Kurzel (the second Aussie to helm an adaptation of this material in around ten years) came across as more interested in allowing the audience to interpret the action through his stark, moody visuals more than the dialogue of the source, which was retained to a point.

Fair enough, not every version of Shakespeare was going to rely one hundred percent on the spoken word, indeed it was often better if they didn't, but Kurzel brought up a problem with his approach when he had apparently directed his cast to mutter and whisper the portentous lines for the most part, presumably to make them more cinematic when in the theatre a more declamatory style was preferred, so at least the audience could hear the actors at the back of the theatre. However, it backfired when the dark poetry of the original was pretty much lost in mumbling or casually garbled enunciation, leaving the audience wondering what the characters were actually saying, a further issue if you were not familiar with every word.

Certainly there has been much of Macbeth, the play, that has entered the common parlance thanks to Will's turn of phrase, so every so often you might recognise a bit and think oh yeah, I remember hearing that somewhere, yet for long stretches you would be straining to make out what was supposed to be said. Fassbender, sad to say, while having nothing to prove as far as his talent went for screen thespianism, was one of the worst offenders, mastering the Scottish accent to a fair degree but sounding as if he was concentrating so hard on getting the inflections correct that his performance suffered, unused to delivering dialogue in that style. It said a lot that Cotillard, a Frenchwoman, managed to be better understood and she was not acting in her native tongue, albeit not in the Scots burr either.

Although occasionally you would get a performer who seemed to have more of a handle on the material, for example David Hayman looked promising until you realised he had about five of his lines retained from the text, or Thewlis who wasn't bad but obviously considering his role didn't exactly hang around. The idea of Macbeth as a tyrant was promoted, but Kurzel preferred the more psychological examination as the pitch black depths of his and his wife's souls were attributed to feeling guilty about their accumulating crimes but also upset over the death of their son, an addition that seemed unnecessary - were we really supposed to feel so sorry for two of the greatest villains in theatre? It indicated fashionable revisionism was the order of the day and meant what you tended to fall back on were a selection of slick visuals as the Scottish scenery stepped in to pull its weight as far as the glowering power of the play was concerned. If this had been a silent movie, they might have been on to something, alas, it was not. Music by Jed Kurzel.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1833 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: