The Tragedy of Macbeth with Denzel Washington.
In this adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, Britain’s King Duncan (Sam Neill of Jurassic Park) is murdered by his generals in order to attack their perceived enemies and seize power. The usurper general, Macbeth (Washington), and his wife, Lady Macbeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), must now face all the consequences of their murderous act. From the director of American Gangster, The Great Debaters and Antwone Fisher, this is a thrilling adaption of the classic play.
As the sun began to set, Duncan’s army made camp for the night. All around them, the sounds of nature were drowned out by the chatter of soldiers and the clanking of armor. In the center of the camp, a large fire was burning brightly, providing both warmth and light. Duncan himself was sitting near the fire, surrounded by his closest advisers. Suddenly, two figures entered the camp silently and made their way towards Duncan’s position. The first figure, Macbeth, was one of Duncan’s most trusted generals. The second figure was Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth.
Without warning or provocation, Macbeth stabbed Duncan repeatedly with his dagger. As Duncan’s lifeless body fell to the ground, his bloodstained hands clutching at his wounds, Lady Macbeth began to cry out in alarm. The other members of Duncan’s court rushed to apprehend Macbeth and Lady Macbeth but they were too late; the deed had been done. In that moment, Scotland’s fate was sealed as ambition and betrayal led to tragedy.
As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led away to be executed, they pass by the prophecies that have come true. All of the events that were foretold have happened just as the witches said they would. This leaves the audience wondering if anything could have been done to change the course of events or if it was all fated to happen from the very beginning. The Tragedy of Macbeth is a timeless story that has been adapted countless times. This particular adaptation with Denzel Washington is one of the more modern versions but still stays true to the original material. What sets this film apart is its focus on the psychological effects of power and ambition. Duncan’s murder may have been motivated by power but it ultimately resulted in chaos and destruction. Once Macbeth had killed Duncan, he was unable to stop himself from committing more murders. The same can be said for Lady Macbeth whose guilt eventually drove her insane. In the end, their actions caught up with them and they paid the ultimate price for their crimes.
The film is visually stunning, and features excellent performances from both Fassbender and Cotillard. It's faithful to the source material while also introducing a few new elements that make it more suspenseful and exciting.
The acting is superb all around, and the setting is strikingly eerie.
The plot moves along at a brisk pace , never letting up until the very end. If you’re looking for an intense theatrical and cinematic experience, Macbeth is definitely worth checking out. I would not recommend it to those with short attention span, because it is also slow-moving and at times difficult to follow.