The Tragedy of Macbeth
One of the leftovers from the weekend and I finished watching The Tragedy Of Macbeth on Apple TV. The film is based on the famous play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare and we have seen many onscreen adaptations. The ones that I recall quite vividly are Maqbool by Vishal Bharadwaj and the Malayalam film Joji starring Fahadh Faasil which was out last year on Amazon Prime. The intriguing part here was some of the black and white stills that I happened to see here. And with many people talking about it, I decided to sink my teeth in this latest adaptation. That said, is The Tragedy Of Macbeth worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Based on the famous play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, The Tragedy Of Macbeth follows the story of a Scottish Lord who is convinced on being crowned king which makes his commit a heinous crime. The story is definitely powerful but the test for such films is to go beyond the realms of predictability and making the adapation engaging. And here, the screenplay is a slow burner yet quite engaging. For those who haven’t studied the works of William Shakespeare might find it hard to grasp most of the dialogues here. But the film scores instantly in the setup. The monochrome just adds a layer of spook to the drama. With an equally foggy atmosphere, you are sold in the drama right from the beginning. And what that does is that the predictability of the drama does not bother you. Also the drama is taut and well cut which means that the story stays true to its nature and does not deviate much. The twists and turns are quite enticing and engaging as the drama gets murkier by the minute. The eventual downfall is also quite well captured in a screenplay that is more traditional in nature and stays faithful to the original story.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
It was in 10th standard where I had studied one of William Shakespeare’s works, Julius Caesar which was in Shakespearean English. And so it made my work easier here as I could follow the essence of the scenes where the characters converse in Shakespearean English. However, this maybe a roadblock for many I would imagine. In staying true to the original, the makers opted for a more traditional route. While the drama is authentic, it turns out to be a niche. The BGM is excellent here and blends perfectly with the drama. Director Joel Coen has done a magnificent job is holding your attention throughout and moreover staying true to the original story in each and every frame.
The performances are excellent. Corey Hawkins as Macduff has his moments to shine. Miles Anderson as Lennox is first rate as is harry Lelling and Malcolm. Bertie Carvel as Banquo is excellent. Brendan Gleeson as Duncan is brilliant in a cameo. Alex Hassell as Ross makes his presence felt. You needed seasoned performers to enact the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Frances Mcdormant as Lady Macbeth is outstanding and she shines in each and every frame which makes it a very nuanced performance. Denzel Washington as Macbeth is brilliant with a wonderful screen presence. He looks every bit of his character and brings out its complexities with a touch of panache. A brilliant and towering act!
The Tragedy Of Macbeth might be a niche but it is a faithful and a brilliant adaptation of the original story. Available on Apple TV and Highly Recommended.