Monday, 17 April 2017
BFI London Film Festival - Lady Macbeth
This seems odd writing about a film I saw in October, only because I really don't have a proper reason why I left it.
Lady Macbeth was in the debut feature film section and I liked the sound of the story. It was a last minute decision and usually, those are the good ones. I'm still obsessed with seeing Fiore again with no luck and that was a last minute pick. Trust your gut.
One of the Creative England supported iFeatures, Lady Macbeth is the first festure film from William Oldroyd and it is rather a twisted tale with a passionate and dangerous love affair, a fearless woman and a harrowing murder scene.
Based on the novel 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District' by Nikolai Leskov, the Victorian set story is about Katherine, practically sold into an unhappy marriage where she is humiliated by her husband and treated like property by her father-in-law. Left alone in a large empty house day after day, Katherine is soured but after an awful encounter with new stable-hand, Sebastian, she begins an affair which turns into a passionate romance. She ignores social standing by flaunting her affair which grabs the wrong people's attention and she soons has to take drastic measures to gain control.
This could be a doomed romance but there is something cruel in most characters from the start. Katherine is definitely against the typical herione grain as she appears to be the victim from the start but transforms into a murderer. She truely is a Lady Macbeth as she forces Sebastian's hand too, at first its so they can be together but later becomes for financial gain as well as their 'love'. The cast are fantastic but Florence Pugh as Katherine has been recieving well deserved praise for her part.
The twists and turns from this film, has as mentioned, include a rather long and disturbing murder, but this isn't what sets this story apart from other period dramas. The source material of course gives a simple story that feels dirty and cruel, but there is something daring about the film that makes you watch, no matter how uncomfortable or terrible it gets, you can't look away.