Practical newcomer director Justin Kurzel has managed to astound critics and casual viewers alike with his rendition of William Shakespeare’s classic. Do not be fooled this film still uses the old English dialect but is orchestrated in such a way that allows the audience to insinuate it’s true meaning. As the film poetically displays a tyrannical ruler descent into madness after the systematic culling of all those who would oppose his reign.
This is professionally portrayed by veteran Michael Fassbender (Shame and X-men Days of Future Past), who’s micro expressions and dedication convince viewers that he really is the mad King, with a Scottish accent to match. However not unlike his co-star Marion Cotillard (Dark Knight Rises) whose accent stumbled between; French, Irish and English, nevertheless it cannot be ignored that her performance as the infamous Lady Macbeth is nothing short of outstanding. Their performances are central to the film as they need to perform many monologues that clearly needed a lot of rehearsing, as soon last longer than five minutes of on-screen time.
One thing that needs to be recognised is that the virgin director Justin Kurzel has set the bar high for his next film, the highly anticipated “Assassin’s Creed”, which also stars Michael Fassbender. As the set pieces of the Scottish Highlands are nothing short of jaw-dropping, combine this with outstanding use of colours and imagery most prominently seen in the final battle and these culminate into a visual masterpiece. One that does not dull throughout the movie as they punctuate an otherwise bleak and desolate environment.
However for those who watched the trailers and expected to see an action filled war drama based on the play will be thoroughly disappointed, as the film delves into the aftermath of war and effects of PTSD, a clever twist on the original plot. This only helps to enrich the story and makes the film not for viewers of action but instead encourages and challenges intellectual thought.
I went to view the film with several friends and one moment of significance is when the movie ended and there was complete silence in the cinema. Everyone just stared blissfully at the blank screen in an attempt to let everything we had just seen sink in. We were both shocked and amazed at what we had just observed, feeling significantly overwhelmed by what we considered a sublime experience.
After viewing this film I would highly recommend watching the live broadcasts of Shakespeare’s work by the Royal Theatre Company over the Christmas holidays