Trailer Ricochet: Macbeth

When you think of Shakespeare, you might first conjure up Romeo & Juliet and remember “The Bard” for his poetry. You might have had a bad experience in high school and remember how boring Shakespeare is with so many Histories and discuss why it’s important or not to know the King’s names in the Wars of the Roses. Since you’re reading my blog, I’ll assume you’re obsessed with scenes featuring sword fights as well as opportunities for every kind of violence in live theatre.

Macbeth is produced a lot. It is also one of the most violent of Shakespeare’s plays. It starts on a battlefield and (spoiler alert) ends with a battle in a castle and the beheading of the titular character. In between, he assassinates the King in cold blood, his wife disposes of the bloody daggers, he arranges the assassination of his best friend (which we see on stage), he arranges the mass murder of a rival family (which we also witness), and his wife commits suicide (off stage). Let’s watch!

Macbeth Official US Release Trailer (2015) - Michael Fassbender War Drama HD

What Bloody Man Is This?

Michael Fassbender, that’s who. With Marion Cotillard. It’s a dream-team for this story.

Fassbender can play powerful and crazy… it may be his default setting. Forget about his robot role in Prometheus or playing Steve Jobs or Magneto. His rise to prominence came with 300 (2006), Inglorious Basterds (2009), and Shame (2011).

Cotillard is going to be an amazing Lady Macbeth going by her previous work in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Inception (2010), and a long list of strong characters in French and English cinema.

You’re watching this for the actors, not for the director or the writers who adapted the play. It sounds like they’re retaining Shakespeare’s words as written, so their job was mostly cutting.

Action Score

We see a lot of armed men running toward each other on Scottish moors, and I don’t think I see anything in the trailer which indicates that the group fight scenes will be any different from those in Braveheart. Which is not to say that’s a bad thing.

What’s The Lesson?

The story can’t exist without lots of murder and battle. With such a strong cast, I am going to see it even if the fight scenes aren’t all that innovative.

Other notable Macbeths to compare it to:

  • Macbeth (2006): Sam Worthington plays the lead in this modern retelling. It’s fun and worth watching if you’re okay with gunfights instead of swords.
  • Macbeth (1971): Directed by Roman Polanski.
  • Macbeth (1948): Directed and starring Orson Welles. A classic.

Acting Violent Scenes

Now’s the time to start training if you want roles with major sword fights. Combat Acting is not just a set of tricks, but a course designed to bring your acting to life-or-death stakes and a whole-body understanding of your character’s story. For an intense two-weeks starting October 12, you’ll prepare for your FDC certification test. Don’t miss this opportunity, the last of 2015.

Head of Stage Combat at Academie Duello and certified Instructor with Fight Directors Canada. Head of Bartitsu at Academie Duello, the longest continuously running Bartitsu program in the world.
Read more from David McCormick.