‘Lady Macbeth’ tells the story of a newly married woman in the 1800s in the English countryside. She is neglected in this marriage and as a result quickly becomes bored resulting in her looking elsewhere for any kind of amusement. There is a scene near the beginning of the film where the lead character sits on a chair and struggles to stay awake. I was worried that this might be a reflection of myself as an audience member however I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t the case.
It’s easy to assume that period pieces might be boring but ‘Lady Macbeth’ has so many different elements that it’s impossible to give it this label. The narrative is full of interesting drama which develops with good pace making the film breeze through its running time. The film is equally racy as it is shocking with both aspects being carried off brilliantly. What maybe wasn’t expected though was the dark comedy included. These moments were some of the best in the whole film. What was even more impressive though were the scenes in which you began laughing at but by the end you’d find yourself in a stunned state of silence. However, whatever kind of narrative moment is occurring the audience were guaranteed to be engaged as the overall story is constructed so wonderfully.
The irresistible narrative is brought to life fantastically by the talented cast assembled here. Florence Pugh plays the lead role, in only one of her first cinematic performances. She brings tremendous ability to the screen portraying many different aspects of a complex character. The supporting cast also deserve credit, specifically Naomi Ackie & Cosmo Jarvis. Both of these performers play the hired help and are essential for many of the narrative moves. They all work together in an incredibly effective way and they showcase the development of their characters very well. The writing for this character development should also be praised as there is definite development but it happens with masterful subtlety.
When this writing is combined with the performances ‘Lady Macbeth’ becomes a true delight to watch. An unexpected surprise for some film fans possibly, but don’t be put off by the period drama genre. Full of wicked humour, steamy encounters and jaw dropping drama ‘Lady Macbeth’ is a definite highlight of the year so far.
Rating – 8.5/10
Question: What is your favourite period drama film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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