The Tragedy of Macbeth | L’origine du mal ★★★★

In King Duncan’s medieval Scotland, Lord Macbeth, a general who has just won an important battle, meets three witches on his way. They predict that he will soon accede to the throne. The general writes to his wife, the ambitious Lady Macbeth, to inform her of the prophecy. On her return to the castle, she will convince her husband to kill the king. Crowned, Macbeth becomes paranoid and bloodthirsty, as an army of soldiers rise up against him to avenge his betrayal.

Among Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is the one that has been the subject of the greatest number of adaptations to cinema and television. And by great masters of the seventh art like Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Roman Polanski. Six years after the adaptation of Justin Kurzel, it’s Joel Coen’s turn to direct a solo film – without his brother Ethan – about the famous Shakespearean tragedy, with a prestigious cast, including Denzel Washington, who radiates in the role -title, and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, a role tailor-made for this great, two-time Oscar winner.

The American director offers a very successful adaptation, close to the masterpiece, which moves away from realism to plunge us into a waking nightmare. The film, entirely in black and white, is carried by superb images (the cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel was inspired by the expressionist films of Fritz Lang) and a magnificent dreamlike, claustrophobic setting, signed Stefan Dechant.

Terribly black work, Macbeth represents the tragedy of man marked with the seal of original sin, crushed by the weight of heavy fate. A violent, nightmarish world, in which the words of witches and madmen resonate in the conscience of the nobles.

“You don’t remake what is undone,” Lady Macbeth will say. Seeing the troops of the late king’s supporters advance towards the castle (a magnificent scene where the soldiers cover their heads with leaves to illustrate the advancing forest), she will sink into madness. For his part, Macbeth hears every night a deafening noise, like a hammering; it is the sound of his conscience unable to find peace.

On Apple TV + in original English version

Historical drama

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Joel coen

Avec Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington, Brendan Gleeson

1 h 45

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