Posted: 24 Oct 2015
A brutal, gore-drenched Macbeth is hitting cinema screens nationwide, pulling no punches in its unremitting portrayal of horrors wreaked in the name of vaulting ambition
Featuring a swathe of dramatic Scottish vistas – as well as the North East’s own Bamburgh Castle – the atmosphere of the film draws its power as much from its backdrops as its fine cast and pared-down script.
At the premiere in Edinburgh the director Justin Kurzel said that the bleak weather during filming was ideal for his vision of the tragedy.
And certainly sunlight and rainbows had no place in this gruesome and graphic interpretation of the final months of Shakespeare’s Scottish king.
Michael Fassbender has the look of a hero but his mud-and-blood-stained face spoke of the warrior within: even when scrubbed up, his hands and fingernails were never spotless. The director’s invention of a young Macbeth interacting with his older self and the exchanges between the two suggest that the steel within was there from boyhood.
Marin Cotillard was a suitably damaged Lady Macbeth, shifting from cool self-assurance to vulnerability and madness as her mind mirrored her husband’s descent into the world of his own demons.
Interspersed with the majesty of Northumberland’s Bamburgh and its iconic castle, the Isle of Skye offered up matchless scenery which added its own drama to this production.
Paddy Considine as Banquo and David Thewlis as Duncan also stood out as stars in a movie which looks set to garland its cast with awards – but surely the parts played by Scotland and Northumberland deserve their own Oscar.