Tuesday, 6 October 2015

REVIEW - MACBETH (JUSTIN KURZEL)


A bleakly beautiful slideshow of stunning cinematography, though one wonders if Justin Kurzel's Macbeth might have actually worked better as just that - a slideshow. Fervid imagery with scant narrative nor thematic relevance serves as shallow decoration for a text that needed none, though in this near-unintelligible production you may be glad that Kurzel has provided at least something to grasp onto. William Shakespeare's work doesn't need subtlety in its delivery so much as conviction, but Kurzel reduces his dialogue to whispered whimsy, its depth buried deep beneath cheap bombast and bluster. Kurzel matches the melodrama with a bold, stark mise-en-scene, recreating the theatricality in the screenplay with its equal in the film's visual and sonic design; he avoids all sense of complexity in either, instead stressing hollow intensity in all aspects herein. In insisting that his cast mumbles and fumbles through their lines in monotonous croaks, Kurzel makes his Macbeth almost impossible to understand, though extremely simple to follow, if what you came to Shakespeare to appreciate was a clearly delineated plot. And you surely did not. Despite consistently poor line delivery, the actors are nonetheless impressive, and Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard succeed in recreating these iconic roles in their own interpretations. Would that the film itself had its own interpretation - its lack of nuance suggests a lack of understanding, its reliance on style over substance (a journalistic cliche, but an appropriate one) suggests helplessness and naivety. But it'd make a great screensaver!