The simplicity allows for Katherine to grow into the manipulative witch she really is
Lady MacBeth (nothing about the Shakespearean character of her namesake) follows the young wife of a land Baron in 19th century England. When her husband leaves for an extended period, the lady falls madly in love with a farm hand, and is willing to do anything to keep the new couple together.
The film is shockingly vicious. The central character of Katherine is a manipulative and murderous woman of unlimited capabilities. The quiet setting sits opposing to her inner explosive nature, and the juxtaposition is truly remarkable. The performance by Florence Pugh really does highlight the extremities of the character but the direction is where the anger and the unsettling nature of the whole film lies.
The still shots and empty setting give such a strong identity to a period drama which could easily have been cluttered with props and scenery, but instead it holds a particularly authentic edge. The simplicity allows for Katherine to grow into the manipulative witch she really is.
Elsewhere, there are good performances backing Florence Pugh and the costumes and scenery are perfect. They continue in the simplistic nature but appear with a long history, and a much deeper meaning. It’s an incredibly powerful film, but in a way unlike most. The effect it has is purely down to the simplicity and basic approach to a wonderfully complicated character.
Lady Macbeth is a calculated and aggressive drama of the strongest nature and its themes of self worth and murder give it a big advantage over similar items. It’s a tremendously tempestuous film with eye watering treachery, and really it’s morals and ideals are both original and terrifying.