The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Trailer Summary & Analysis

Macbeth and Banquo in the trailer of The Tragedy of Macbeth as they return from the battle field and are about to encounter the witches.
Macbeth and Banquo in the trailer of The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth is set to release on 25th December 2021. It is based on the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare in 1606. This black and white film is going to be 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Joel Coen is both the writer and the director of this American piece of art. Also, for the first time, only one of the Coen brothers is involved in the creation of any movie. The music is by Carter Burwell, and the cinematography is by Bruno Delbonnel.

On 24th September, at the New York Film Festival 2021, this movie had its world premiere. In December, it will be releasing at a limited number of theaters only by A24. Later, it will stream on Apple TV+ from 14th January 2022 onwards. The trailer has already won a lot of hearts. Moreover, the audience is extremely eager to see Denzel Washington as Lord Macbeth and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. By the look of the trailer, because of its excellent cinematography, and powerful cast, this movie has the potential of being one of the best film adaptations of Macbeth. Moreover, the duo of Joel and Denzel is what has attracted viewers the most.

In contrast to other recent adaptations (especially the 2015 one starring Michael Fassbender), The Tragedy of Macbeth is shot in black and white which gives it a thematic upper hand. It enhances the theme of the film, creates an ominous atmosphere, and sets the mood for a tragic plot. Other than Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, important cast members are Corey Hawkins as Macduff, Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, Harry Melling as Malcolm, Bertie Carvel as Banquo, Kathryn Hunter as the witches, and Moses Ingram as Lady Macduff.

Analysis of the Trailer of The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

The official trailer was released on 21st September 2021. It is for 1 minute and 11 seconds, having one dialogue, few impactful visuals, and uneasy sound effects. It perfectly builds up the suspense, anticipation, hooking the viewers.

The opening scene shows three crows are circling high above in the sky, with thudding sounds, like footsteps approaching. Crows symbolize bad omen – the three witches whom Macbeth and Banquo come across at the beginning of the drama while returning from their victory in battle. The witches are standing on a mist-covered moor, as Macbeth and Banquo approach them. The next scene shows the King of Scotland, Duncan, who is standing with his son Malcolm, and the other officials. Lady Macbeth can be seen walking inside a castle, while she is holding a burning piece of something. Macbeth steps inside a spotlight, and the next scene shows him smirking. The last section shows someone is picking up a crown, and Lady Macbeth turning around. Only one dialogue by the second witch (from act 4, scene 1 of the play), runs in the background when she senses Macbeth’s arrival:

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

Second Witch in The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

A close-up shot of Macbeth’s face might stand for his shocked reaction to the prophecy of the witches, regarding him becoming the King of Scotland. Those three witches deceived Macbeth by encouraging him to choose a self-destructive path filled with ambition, crime, and doom. After the prophecy of him becoming Thane of Cawdor comes true, Macbeth believes in the rest of the prophecies. His smirking face indicates the smooth progression of his hideous plan to become the king. Macbeth’s stepping into a spotlight symbolizes the splitting up of dark and light in the play.


The three witches standing on the moor in the trailer of the movie The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The three witches in the trailer of The Tragedy of Macbeth

Hence, it will be interesting to see how Joel Coen manages to fit the entire drama of Macbeth within 1 hour and 45 minutes. The excellent trailer gives the least amount of spoilers one can expect and slowly marches towards an end full of tragedy. What kind of evil the witch is referring to will be something interesting to watch. The movie promises to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the play which delves into themes of ambition, greed, betrayal, and guilt. The Tragedy of Macbeth looks set to blow away some minds and possibly earn multiple awards for its performances, screenplay, and stunning visuals. But Macbeth is always an ambitious and uphill project to adapt. So, time will tell.

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