Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is a classic play adored by stage performers and lovers of theatrical works. The literary piece was allegedly first performed in 1606 by the acclaimed writer’s acting company.
While many centuries have elapsed since its debut, the play still attracts many famous actors to try out the roles of the key characters, Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth, therefore birthing several adaptations in film, television, opera, novels, comics, and other media.
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Recently, a version of “The Tragedy of Macbeth” was brought to light by writer/ director Joel Cohen in his first directorial feature apart from his brother Ethan. The star-studded cast included Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, who delivered excellent performances of their role in the reboot.
Read below for more details about the new movie adaptation of the Shakespearean masterpiece.
Cohen’s New Angle To ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’
Like most reboots of classical tales, Coen’s new adaptation featured several core details of the Shakespearean tragedy. Also, it retained the overall concept of dramatizing the devastating consequences of seeking power at all costs.
The film backdropped on a stark monochrome setting that helped to add more originality to the script portrayal. Cohen’s directorship aptly represented Macbeth(Washington) at several crossroads in his journey through life, which had varying impacts on his relationship with Lady Macbeth and his subjects, political ambition, and the case of his mortality.
More so, the dreaded trio of witches once again played their part in helping the star act realize his greatest dreams while leading him on a path of destruction. Although fans are already familiar with how the story begins and ends, Cohen’s new take on “The Tragedy of Macbeth” had the added subtext of ageing that seemed to have a hand in every decision Macbeth made.
With this extra layer of variation, plus the superb images and magnificent designs on the set, the movie brought back nostalgic feelings for its early viewers.
‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ Movie Pot
Cohen‘s film adaptation came four centuries after the original work was published. It further bears testament to the timelessness of the Shakespearean work. The story told the tale of an embattled Scottish general named Macbeth (Washington), whose future got divined by a trio of witches (Kathryn Hunter).
They foretold he would become the next king of Scotland despite his lack of blood ties with the throne. Macbeth informed his wife, Lady Macbeth (McDormand), of the information, and she agreed with the witches.
The combination of the alluring words of the prophecy and his wife’s insistence that he took matters into his own hands pushed Macbeth to kill the previous king.
However, the consequences of his actions came quickly and harshly. Despite attaining the seat of power, Macbeth spiralled into a state of mental helplessness haunted by his acts of violence and deceit.
Other Actors Performances On ‘The Tragedy Of Macbeth’
The ensemble also included other talented actors who contributed wholesomely to the success of the new adaptation.
Brendan Gleeson had a cameo as the crowned King whom Macbeth killed gruesomely in a close-up murder scene. Corey Hawkins played a fierce Macduff, haunted by his decision of abandoning his wife and children to the tyrant. Bertie Carvel acted as Banquo; Harry Melling portrayed young Malcolm and Stephen Root was the hungover porter always making comedic rants about erectile dysfunction.
The film had its world premiere at the 2021 New York Film Festival on September 24, 2021. Although a limited theatrical release debuts on Christmas day, it is unavailable for streaming until January 14, 2022, on Apple TV+.
Coen’s screenplay and direction, performances of the cast, and cinematography garnered positive reviews from critics who attended its world premiere.
Cohen’s Adaptation Is One Of Many
Cohen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is one of the many adaptations spawned out of the famous Shakespeare tragedy. Since its first-ever performance on stage, the play has had over 20 adaptations with varying success in each case.
However, Shakespeare lovers are sure to enjoy what Cohen has animated. His version perfectly blends theatre nuances with cinematic details, bridging the gap between the past and the present form of movie production.
The reboot is arguably one of the best Macbeth film adaptations out there. Already, it has won some accolades and gathered nominations for other prestigious award ceremonies scheduled to hold next year.
Washington is currently a contender to win the Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globe Awards and the Best Lead Actor– International at the AACTA Awards.