The ambition of Macbeth, the Thane of Scotland (Michael Fassbender) to be the King of Scotland, leads to the killing of his own king, King Duncan (David Thewlis). His betrayal was successful and he took the kingdom throne for himself. But, his arrogance manner started murders, madness, and insecurity in the kingdom where he soon becomes a paranoid tyrant that fears his own enmity.
I have to say that I’m vaguely familiar with the story as I (and probably most others) have studied the original play by William Shakespeare in high school. I remember that I liked it then but that was a long time ago. For those who don’t know the story, the Thane of Scotland, Macbeth’s (Fassbender) ambition and a little manipulation by his wife, Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard), kills the current king of Scotland, King Duncan (David Thewlis), in order to become king. His ambition in doing so leads him to madness, insecurity, and paranoia. To answer some looming questions surrounding this, the story is pretty much more or less similar to the original Shakespeare play and yes the dialogue is true Shakespearian. This could go either way, it could be very boring or captivating based on the delivery. Unfortunately I found this to be quite boring as the film’s very serious, very deep Shakespearian delivery kind of left me bored and I couldn’t always figure out what was going on. For me it wasn’t just the dialogue which made the film boring for me was the simple fact that not much happened. I will admit that the film did almost put me to sleep at a few moments but sudden changes in lighting and the occasional battle sequence always seemed to bring me back. I also may or may not actually did fall asleep but I vaguely knew the story so it wasn’t that bad. The movie did have some redeeming qualities, however, as the film was beautifully shot with stunning landscapes and everything just seemed to be dark and grim. The subject matter, just like the look of the film, was very dark and this was both good and bad. It was good because it helped accentuate the film’s story and was bad because it started to get repetitive. Also I found it distracted from some of Fassbender’s dialogue as Macbeth as that and his beard sometimes hid the fact that his mouth was moving so it sounded like he was narrating some of his scenes. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the dialogue, I thought the acting was okay as nothing ever felt cheesy. Fassbender was okay but I question the casting of Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. I found she did not have much chemistry with Fassbender’s Macbeth and I could still hear her French accent. I also thought she was better in scenes separate from Fassbender. Before going in to see this, I didn’t know there were plenty of other films based on this play but I wasn’t surprised that they existed. This was the first time I had seen a film version of Macbeth but I was disappointed that they took a more traditional path and made it more Shakespeare-like instead of modernizing it (I guess they kind of tried to here). Overall, while the subject matter may not be for everyone, its surrounding pieces capture the world and the essence of the story beautifully.