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Seeing Denzel Washington Make Shakespeare This Celebration | Israel today

2022-01-23T07:20:48.814Z

"The Macbeth Tragedy" is Joel Cohen's first solo film from the Cohen brothers, and it offers a magical experience



After almost 40 years of working together with his brother, Ethan Cohen, "The Macbeth Tragedy" is Joel Cohen's first solo film, and as you might expect - the result is very different from the wonderful films the two made together.

All in all, this is an interesting and effective adaptation of one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays (which has already won several film versions, including from Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Roman Polanski), so in my opinion it is definitely a worthwhile deal.

Denzel Washington stars as Macbeth - the Scottish general who meets three witches on his way back from the battlefield and hears from them a fateful prophecy, which assures him that he will soon sit on the throne.

His lady (Frances McDormand, the director's wife) encourages him to help the prophecy come true through the murder of the king, and soon the two find themselves falling into a tangled web of death and madness.

The changes Cohen makes in the text are minimal, but his version is compressed and overloaded than usual, and includes almost no fat.

The relatively advanced age of the two actors leading the piece also influences the nature of the arrangement, illuminating the motives of the couple in a different light.

In this version the two are not young and full of ambition (as they were originally), but on the contrary - they are nearing the end of their journey, recognizing the witch's prophecy as their last chance to achieve any greatness.

Visually, "The Macbeth Tragedy" offers a completely enchanting and nightmarish experience.

The film - designed to look old and out of date - is shot in an expressionist black-and-white that constantly uses shadows and fog, and draws its inspiration from various classics created in the early years of cinema (e.g., Morenau's Sunrise from 1927 and "Jean Dark's Passion"). Of Dreyer from 1928).

In doing so, the minimalist and almost abstract sets equate to the creation a sense of theater, with one major difference: here the faces of the actors, and especially the faces of our two protagonists, become real attractions.

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Washington is taking advantage of the situation to deliver one of its most successful performances of the past decade.

Every close-up on his face is a celebration full of happening, and a pleasure to hear the Shakespearean language roll naturally hands-free from his tongue.

Although McDormand's appearance has a hard time leaving a similar mark, when the two share the screen and plot their murderous plots together - it's hard not to remember the main characters in the Cohen brothers' films such as "Simple Murders", "Fargo" and "The Man Who Wasn't There".

It seems possible to get Joel out of the Cohen brothers, but not so easy to get the Cohen brothers out of Joel.

Score: 8

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Source: israelhayom

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