Mud, Blood and anxiety in the new film version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Michael Fassbender embarks on one of the world drama major roles. Michael Timm about the results.
Nietzsche once said that no man will be less greedy for power of reading Macbeth. So be it. But this late Shakespearean drama continues to fascinate the filmmaker. Orson Welles did it, likewise Kurosawa and Roman Polanski and now Justin Kurzel. It is not morality that attracts without the text to suit the medium of film. It is as cut and mixed already in gåspenneversion. Shakespeare looked back 500 years in time and jumps like any Hollywood Producer any of the subtleties, and ignore the real Macbeth.
Curiously, almost all interpretations convincing, although I myself do make exceptions for Verdi’s opera. A cold Scotland populated by barbarians were probably well distant. Kurzel begins there. The time and the countryside. It’s the Viking Age, it’s freezing. The castle is no more than a wooden house. This is a raw tribal fighting is not an elevated royal drama.
Orson Welles’s Macbeth excelled in sounding. Michael Fassbenders Macbeth is uncertain, mumbling, he stifled the blood of the victims; a power who neither understands himself or his time. Last fall, spoke Fassbender in a German interview of Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth’s relationship to the mother, they have lost their children. OK, but I doubt that a family therapist would manage the couple’s dynamics. But I understand what Fassbender says. In one of the film’s best scenes, the feast after the murder of the king where the couple will celebrate their exaltation, breaking Macbeth together. The scene attracts exaggeration but Fassbender whispers his lines and Marion Cotillard are trying to save the situation as so many wives did when her husband got out of hand.
They are credible, and the same can be said about the movie as a whole. However, not Kurzel same visual power that Kurosawa had in Blood Faith and creates nothing like the same psychological voltage that Polanski.
But Justin Kurzels ambition to take Shakespeare from the stage to the clay is rewarding . Macbeth becomes less crazy and more bloody heaving child of his time. And thus – the Viking mood despite – a child of the our time. Moreover, we can enjoy Shakespeare’s words in a really good movie translation.