The tale of Macbeth is perhaps one of the greatest among 16th-century poetry. Arguably this was the most compelling play written by William Shakespeare which still holds its beauty to this day.
After all, Macbeth is what reminds everyone of the Bard of Avon and vice versa. Since the inception of theatre and cinema, the story of Macbeth has been told in many forms and through many spectacles.
While the previous film adaptation of 1971 deserves applause in its own right; the 2022 adaptation by and far surpasses that for its fantastic storytelling and unique cinematography.
In the age of kings and emperors, the struggle for power is inevitable. No matter one's loyalty to the throne or to the royal bloodline, all it takes is one small dream to change their heart.
The story portrays the slow descent of a brave and loyal man, into madness and paranoia. To see a prophecy come true and to see himself on top of all men, he is willing to do anything. No action is barred and immoral.
'Fair is foul and foul is fair', becomes the motto of his ruthless climb to the top. The film presents the audience with a tragic and fateful journey and an experience second to none.
Director Joel Coen brings the atmosphere of a theatre into the big screen like no other with this adaptation of Macbeth.
The blend of modern cinematics and centuries-old technique of stage performance is nothing but magnificent to the keen eyes. To fit the description of the time and era of the tale, the film resorts to high contrast monochromatic visuals.
In order to retain the true nature of the play, the story is told as if it's taken right out of the original scripts. With the massive theatrical setup, the entirety of the film feels like one big piece of poetry. Interaction between the characters and the lines are mostly spoken in rhymes as written in the play itself.
The tone of this "Macbeth" is as significant as the poem. When it comes to finesse in storytelling, modern audiences might turn their eyes at directors like Wes Anderson, Dennis Villeneuve or Christopher Nolan. Joel Coen sets a completely new bar with The Tragedy of Macbeth in modern cinematography. His visions are realised through the spectacles of the film. The amazing aesthetics is able to draw the audience through the act as though they were on stage.
The core of any narrative in cinema is the representation of the characters. The key roles of the tale were told and delivered with an astonishing flair. Anyone familiar with the poem knows the Witches of Macbeth.
An ominous entity that sets the events on its course. Portraying the same characteristics has probably been the most difficult task in all the theatrics. However, Kathryn Hunter's delivery as the Witches was powerful and envisioned after the original from the play of Macbeth.
The other major character portrayals of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Banquo and Prince Malcolm were equally bewitching to behold. The overall thematic of the film is perfect and beyond commendable.
The forerunning cast includes Denzel Washington as Macbeth, Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, Kathryn Hunter as the Witches, Harry Melling as Malcolm, Corey Hawkins as Mcduff and Alex Hassell as Ross.
The casting of Washington in the role of Macbeth was faced with many backlashes, mostly due to his heritage. However, that didn't stop him from bringing his very best to the movie and ultimately giving us a great and well deserving Macbeth.
Most notable among the others is Hassell's performance as Ross. In fact, he delivered more to the character than any before and even perhaps more than the play itself. The others were very well cast as well by their own rights and they have delivered as expected.
The Tragedy of Macbeth stands as a landmark for modern cinema. In terms of art, it makes a statement that art has no boundary and imagination has no end. Joel Coen once again proves himself to be a great visionary of cinema.