Justin Kurzel Adapts “Macbeth” by Adding Grim Details to The Bard’s Classic Tragedy

Shakespeare’s story of the Scottish king Macbeth is over 400 years old, and the story it is based upon dates back a further six centuries.  Thus, it is important for storytellers to bring something new to the familiar tale of corruption, power, and guilt.  Fortunately, Justin Kurzel’s version starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the titular characters is up to the task of providing a fresh take.  Three major departures from the bard’s text are crucial for informing this discussion:  the presence of the Baby Macbeth, the characterization of the Witches and the mystical forces in general, and a re-interpretation of the famous conclusion.  With these tweaks in mind, we will see how Kurzel offers a much darker and more cynical view of Macbeth than most film-makers.

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