DRAMA; 1hr 53min
STARRING: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard
Meet the Glums: Cotillard and Fassbender
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, that ripe and mighty tragedy of ravenous back-room ambition run catastrophically amok, is set in the 11th century but its snakebellied politicking couldn’t be more relevant to this pressured world at this very minute. And so it is that from the unforgiving, mist-enshrouded Scottish wilds in which the treacherous skulduggery is set to the bloodied bedchamber of poor, hacked-at King Duncan (David Thewlis), Snowtown director Justin Kurzel’s imposing production hangs heavy with blackly atmospheric menace.
As the psychologically scarred general Macbeth, Fassbender is a seething wound. Abraded by war and fatally tantalised by witchy guarantees of greatness, he’s driven to kill at his fixated wife’s (an icily ethereal Cotillard) urgent behest, only to crash and burn in the hellfire of karma. Even kingship, ill-gotten as it is, fails to lighten his stygian load. The ghosts of his misdeeds plague him, and in the meantime, his once-steely wife is being ripped to bits by guilt. As well she might! “What’s done cannot be undone,” the Lady immortally and rightly laments. Too true and as in any human folly, then, now and for evermore, too irreparably late.