Lady Macbeth: Film Review

Period dramas generally aren’t my bag which is why I didn’t see Lady Macbeth at the London Film Festival. But I kept hearing rave reviews so I thought I would give it a go and I was really impressed.

Florence Pugh plays Katherine, a young girl who is unhappily married to a middle-aged man. Her fortunes change when her husband and father in law have to go away for an extended time and she embarks on an affair with one of their employees Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). Katherine will do anything for their relationship to continue and she uses dramatic measures to ensure it stays that way once they return home and ruin her new romance.

I didn’t have high hopes for Lady Macbeth (nothing to do with THAT Lady Macbeth) because it was so slow and quiet in the beginning and I actively wished it wouldn’t be like that all the way through cos it was boring. But then once the affair kicks off, it became exciting, Katherine’s personality started coming through and I finally knew what direction it was going in.

The plot is by no means original – the lady who gets with the work hand has been done – but the outcome was brutally dark and shocking (way more than expected) that it felt fresh enough. It also managed to find some light, darkly funny moments in the story which were definitely a welcome break from the sombre tone.

Pugh’s performance sold the whole thing. She is ice cold and callous one moment, seemingly unaffected by murder, and a bubbly mischievous girl in love in others. There are some incredible long takes which just focus on her face that are utterly memorising. She also managed to humanise her in a way that makes her incredibly psychotic behaviour seem almost logical because you don’t feel as horrified by it as you probably should be.

The plot is still slow and the film feels way longer than its 90 minutes but it’s definitely still worth a watch for that performance and for the shocking turns the film takes.

In cinemas Friday 28th April 

Comments

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