The Tragedy of Macbeth Movie Review: There is a special kind of beauty in making your movie in black n white frames in an era of 8K quality videos. Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth milks those frames with even more relish to create a brooding, surreal atmosphere perfect for his adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s most known tragedies. Add to that, two brilliant performers like Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand to the mix, leading a terrific cast, expect nothing less than masterclass in cinematic experience. And yeah, let’s not forget The Tragedy of Macbeth is directed by one of the Coen Brothers, who are responsible for some of the masterpieces of our times. OTT Releases Of The Week: Human on Disney+ Hotstar, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein on Netflix, The Tragedy of Macbeth on Apple TV+ and More.
Macbeth is the kind of story you might not have missed out even if you haven’t read the works of the Bard or studied it in school. There are quite a few adaptations in Hollywood, with most notably being Roman Polanski’s 1971 film and then the one directed by Justin Kurzel that starred Michael Fassbender. Bollywood has its very own brilliant Maqbool, directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. But now it looks like Joel Coen might have made the most faithful of the lot.
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The thing that strikes you the most about The Tragedy of Macbeth is the dialogues. If it was not so dark and grim, I would call the movie a delight for Shakespearean fanatics. It’s as if the Bard’s words has poured from his texts right to the screen. The poetical manner of speaking isn’t for all and does that some time to adjust to, but if you have read Shakespeare’s works in their original verse at some point of your life, then you will truly appreciate what the makers did here.
What makes it even better is how the actors make those verses sound very effectual. In the hands of a lesser director or lesser set of actors, this could have been a recipe for a disaster. Here’s where the class of having Washington (Lord Macbeth), McDormand (Lady Macbeth), Brendan Gleeson (King Duncan), Corey Hawkins (Macduff), Bertie Carvel (Banquo), Alex Hassell (Ross), Stephen Root (the Porter) etc matter. Just watch the scene where Lord Macbeth spills out his anguish on a concerned Lady Macbeth about Banquo. The proses don’t matter. You just relish on Washington putting his stamp across as one of the finest actors ever graced on screen. To give him a perfect foil is Frances McDormand whose traversing from shrewd manipulation to guilt-stricken tragedy is wrenching to watch. Denzel Washington Birthday Special: From Malcolm X to Flight, 5 Amazing Roles of the American Actor That No One Else Could Have Pulled Off.
Special mention must also be given to Kathryn Hunter who is absolutely spooky as the Three Witches (she also appears in another equally eerie role).
It is not just the performances that make The Tragedy of Macbeth such a fascinating watch. Joel Coen, in his first solo outing after taking a break from collaborative duties with his brother Ethan, delivers a surreal set of images that haunts you in nearly every frame (The Witch’s intro is my fave) with some spectacular production design from Stefan Dechant and Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography both contributing to the film’s dream-like quality (or should I say nightmarish?). I could see the influences of the works of the great Andrei Tarkovsky in there, notably Stalker. Another top-notch aspect is the film’s sound design, that along with Carter Burwell’s BG score, makes a haunting effect throughout.
– Washington and McDormand
– The Visual and the Sound Quality
– Joel Coen’s Surreal Storytelling
– Some May Find The Language A Little Difficult to Follow
– Not Exactly A Film That Seeks Recall Value
Joel Coen, in his first independent outing, crafts a film that is bound to be seen as a masterpiece in the years ahead. In the era ruled by superhero spectacle movies, The Tragedy of Macbeth is a magnificent-looking oddity, an experiment that stays so true to its original creator, housing a couple of powerhouse performances. The Tragedy of Macbeth is streaming on Apple TV+.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 15, 2022 05:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website F10 News).