The Time Is Out Of Joint, O Cursed Spite
Prince Hamlet of Denmark is overcome with grief at the sudden death of
his father, and is appalled when his mother quickly marries her
brother-in-law Claudius. But worse is to come when the dead king's
ghost appears and reveals a ghastly murder ...
William Shakespeare's Hamlet, written around 1600, is pretty
untouchable as a property. I could say I think it's a bit long
(especially Act IV), Ophelia has bugger all to do with the plot, and
the ending is the old scribbler's trick of killing everybody off
because you can't think of anything better, but there's not too much
point because you probably either don't like Old Billy much or worse,
are a Culture Snob who thinks he's a paragon. This movie version is
very good all round really; the main difficulty in adapting Shakespeare
to film is the stage direction, which is heavy on speeches and short on
action. Gibson imbues it with energy and Zeffirelli wisely abridges it
down to two hours, focussing on the passion and the agonising doubt at
the core of the story. Fundamentally, the play is really about the
essence of death; the horror of the King's murder, the damnation of
Claudius, the tragedy of Ophelia, the bones of Yorick. His father's
killing forces Hamlet to stare the horror of death straight in the face
and he doesn't know how to live - to sleep, perchance to dream. Gibson
is great in the lead, ably supported by Bates, Holm and Scofield (all
of whom played Hamlet on stage to great acclaim) and he makes the
tough-going dialogue surprisingly palatable and mellow. There's also a
fine incidental score by Ennio Morricone and excellent production
design by Dante Ferretti (most exteriors were shot at Dunnottar Castle
on the east coast of Scotland), and it was the first film made by
Gibson's respected Icon production company. I like this movie a lot, as
I do any movie which tries to take the illustrious High Arts and turn
them into something anyone can appreciate. I think it's the best movie
adaptation of the classic tale - the 1948 Laurence Olivier and 1996
Kenneth Branagh versions are both a bit stodgy, but the cheapie 1969
one with Nicol Williamson is not bad. Weirdly, the best movie versions
of Hamlet (as with most of Shakespeare's plays) are the ones that are
cagily disguised as something else, such as Akira Kurosawa's corporate
killer drama Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru / The Bad Sleep Well, Tom
Stoppard's whimsical Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Dave Thomas
and Rick Moranis' hilarious The Adventures Of Bob & Doug McKenzie:
Strange Brew (which mostly involves beer and ice-hockey, two crucial
elements Shakespeare left out), and Aki Kaurism.
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The movie fight club was awesome.
nessangel watch The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio movie
i thought where the wild things are was a cute movie. didn't really like charlie's angel: full throttle.
ilseguz watch Pursuit To Algiers movie
Great movie! Excelent for students!.
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The Hill Have Eyes 2. is a exellent version of murdering, for those who would like to see how the world maybe in a couple years, because of the polution, may see these movie. Shadow company. is a movie of corage and how our frontiers may go beyond our eyes and limits.
I absolutely loved Sweeney Todd, with its dark imagery, phenomenal cast, and twisted characters. This dark, brooding film will haunt me for years to come... and it is definitely not for the faint of heart..
In Much Ado About Nothing, Emma Watson and Kenneth Branagh bring to life the supposedly stale humor and wit of Shakespeare's comedy. I have to admit, is my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies. The sharp wit, both stinging and playful simultaneously, intrigued me, drew me in... and I found myself finishing it around four a.m. when I finally consented to bleary-eyed exhaustion. The language is so rich, and, like his well-known tragedies, Hamlet and Macbeth, Shakespeare's characteristic element of dramatic flair is proudly displayed through the courtship and marriage of Leonato's sweet daughter, Hero, and of his niece, acrid-tongued, man-hating Beatrice. The sparring between Benedic and Beatrice can only be described as an intricate dance, where each participant challenges the other to a new level. Their passionate relationship, out of context, started with a relationship that ended abruptly and messily, continued in disdainful, heated debates, and ended in marriage. Though these characters may seem incongruous, they complement each other. Ah, such a beautiful film!!! Enjoy!.
Nocturna. Love's Brother.
Excellent acting closest to the orignal yet.
Far Better Than Expected
I can't believe that giving away the plot of Hamlet would constitute a
"spoiler," but just in case, I have marked the warning. You can never
Forty years ago a sweet young thing was handed Hamlet as a reading
assignment. My professor, from whom I heard the story, said her
response was "Oh that was wonderful! When is this Hamlet guy going to
write another one?"
When I had the Gibson version thrust upon me, I had never seen the
star. My response was, you've got to be in jest! A Hollywood actor?
Then I noticed the supporting cast and decided to give Mr. Gibson's
effort a chance. Well . . .
The late Sir John Gielgud once noted that just as there were no bad
Hamlets, there were, neither, any complete ones. (I don't know: I
absolutely refuse to consider K. Branagh an actor at all; so as far as
his Hamlet goes . . . ?)
This movie version is better than any I have seen in several ways. The
portrayal of Ophelia is most beautifully accomplished and very
touching. Heretofore I couldn't wait for the poor thing to drown.
Alan Bates as Claudius is most interestingly cast, and he manages to be
just right for the role, but then he's a superb actor, indeed.
As for Ian Holm's Polonius - I certainly wouldn't want to follow it: I
can't think of a word other than "perfect." Many actors have captured
the riotously funny idiocy of the rambling dolt, but few the pathos.
Holm makes him almost endearing.
G. Close manages not to be revolting as Gertrude. I trust this is not a
spiteful remark. There are those who doubtless are quite good, but that
I never want to see again. For example, Katharine Hepburn is one
(except for the very early Tracy and Cary Grant comedies).
Now to Mr. Gibson. He gives flesh to Gielgud's axiom. His overall
performance is, quite frankly, as acceptable as any I've seen. As
opposed to Jacobi, who brought out the acerbity better than most have,
and made the relationship with Horatio acutely heartwarming, Gibson,
especially in his major scene with Polonius, makes superb comedy; and
he excels, exceptionally, in honing, if that's the word, the profundity
of the dilemma the Prince finds himself in: the metaphysical dimension,
as it were. A simple line like "Readiness is all." becomes penetrating
in a haunting, prescient way I've not before encountered.
(It is a shame that Olivier never remade his version, which was so
sliced up and Freudianized as to be virtually unrecognizable.)
Where things go wrong is in the final scene, and I put the blame here
entirely on the director. I found the fight scenes and the various
killings absurdly done. Perhaps Zeffirelli realized this because he cut
the perhaps most heart-rending line in the play (when delivered
correctly in a context that hasn't been rendered a shambles). I fear
that if Horatio had come out with "Now cracks a noble heart," I'd have
laughed. At first I couldn't believe the cut; then I was grateful for
Since I began with a comment by Gielgud, I'll end with a comment about
him. There has never been a "Closet Scene" to equal the electrifying
performance Sir John gives of it in an early radio broadcast, of which
year I know not.
Were it not for that loused-up final scene, I'd have given the movie a
higher rating. See it. You can always stop the tape (or walk out of the
theatre) before that debacle of a final touch..