The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth ★★★★

Joel Coen's interpretation of the widely adapted Shakesperean tragedy showcases strong performances and surrealistic, dream-like visuals and storytelling. In one of the best cinematography 2021 has to offer, Bruno Delbonnel's work reminisces expressionist cinema and the masterpieces of the 1950s, as seen in the stunning use of shadows and geometric figures. The stellar production design provides a taut, disorienting environment that deviates from usual period dramas.

Denzel Washington plays Macbeth with remarkable accuracy and uniqueness, while Frances McDormand proves again why she is such an acclaimed actress. Kathryn Hunter is a surprise standout as the scene-stealing, shape-shifting weird sisters. The rest of the ensemble turn in equally solid performances.

As expected, the dialogues in the film are not easy to understand. It definitely helped that I am already familiar with Shakespeare's story. The film is not exactly going for an epic, dramatic, and emotionally affecting feel, as compared to the 2015 "Macbeth" by Justin Kurzel. This style might affect a viewer's investment in the film, but Coen adds his own artistic twist to the material and it mostly paid off for a visually arresting watch.

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