Early in Shakespeare’s Scottish play, Banquo asks Macbeth, “Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?” Director Justin Kurzel seems to have taken this line to heart, and so set out to answer the question, “What if the supremely ambitious Thane of Glamis (played here by Michael Fassbender) was a druggie?” Meth might account for his sped-up/slowed-down detatched invincibility in the opening battle against the rebel Macdonwald. Heroin might explain his weirdly flat and shapeless delivery even as he says he is experiencing intense emotion. (“Why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature?”) Perhaps mushrooms are to blame for his paranoid vision of the murdered Banquo at the coronation feast? And LSD for the weird hues — orange and red, mainly — that wash over everything now and then? I’m calling Oxy for Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard), who just lets her poisoned proclamations roll out in a raspy monotone. The overall effect is to make the bloody business bloody boring. Macduff is good, though. (2015) — Matthew Lickona
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