I was over the grimdark thing. Really. And then I saw the newly released Macbeth trailer, and I found myself suddenly excited again over a dirty, dark, grimy, violent film about hubris, murder, and madness.
But, what, if anything, deserves to be grimdark more than Macbeth? Media headlines are claiming this is a darker version. Than what? The Polanski adaptation? Look at some screenshots–there seems to be a less desaturated color palette, but the grim realism is there.
So not sure this new one’s going all that much farther. Plus, The Scottish Play is tailored for just such a grimness. Our hero becomes a monster before our eyes. He murders men, women, and children. And then he gets his comeuppance. Don’t be prideful, kids.
Despite the fact that I don’t think this one is necessarily upping the darkness ante on Polanski’s, there is much to be excited about.
- It appears to have a more historical realism in the costuming. Macbeth on the battlefield has a touch of the Braveheart with his warrior’s face painting. Likewise the locations are both gorgeous and evocative of the helplessness of humans to nature, or their nature, or fate.
- Michael Fassbender seems to be playing Macbeth to all the right notes. I got chills when he looked up at the camera, his face open and vulnerable, saying, “Full of scorpions is my mind.” A brilliant contrast to the stoic “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” line at the beginning.
- The cinematography is atmospheric. The foggy moors. The color use to create a near monochromatic palette with figures as shadowed silhouettes. The dynamic changes of speed to focus on particular characters or actions. Use of close-up to get the depth of emotion on Fassbender’s or Marion Cotillard’s faces.
- Cotillard also appears to be doing Lady Macbeth right, though there’s not as much coverage in the trailer. I’m excited to see what she brings to the tragic part.