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Fassbender’s ‘Macbeth’ Teaser Trailer Grimdark and Riveting

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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.

polanski-macbeth banquoghost

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.

  1. macbeth orangeIt 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.fassbender

Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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