The RSC puts a modern spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this filmed-for-television version of their stage production. The Prince of Denmark seeks vengeance after his father is murdered and his mother marries the murderer.
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New York, 2000. A specter in the guise of the newly-dead CEO of Denmark Corporation appears to Hamlet, tells of murder most foul, demands revenge, and identifies the killer as Claudius, the new head of Denmark, Hamlet's uncle and now step-father. Hamlet must determine if the ghost is truly his father, and if Claudius did the deed. To buy time, Hamlet feigns madness; to catch his uncle's conscience, he invites him to watch a film he's made that shows a tale of murder. Finally convinced of Claudius's guilt, Hamlet must avenge his father. Claudius now knows Hamlet is a threat and even uses Ophelia, Hamlet's love, in his own plots against the young man. Murder will out? Written by
William Shakespeare was both a playwright and an actor, and is widely believed to have played the ghost of Hamlet's father in early productions. In this film, the Ghost is played by Sam Shepard, who is also both an actor and a playwright. See more »
When we first see Claudius speaking, his mouth is obviously saying something other than what we hear. It lasts for about five seconds. See more »
Shakespeare's tragedy of a son's vengence for the murder of his father, the king of Denmark..
I thought this film was absolutley brilliant. Almereyda, so captured Shakespeare's profound insight into human nature and motivation. I have NEVER liked modern productions of Shakespeare, either on film or the stage. But this vision was extraordianary in illustrating that Shakespeare's observations are truly timeless, and he knew far, far more about human nature than Freud or Jung or any modern psychologist!
Almereyda's direction was superb. His Hamlet was so contemporary .... so the sulking, modern, slacker, malcontent, and it captured the spirit of Hamlet beautifully (as did Ethan Hawke's rather astonishing performance). In addition, every word Ophelia uttered, sounded so like an overwrought, emotional, girl of this age....and yet not of word of The Bard's was changed. Almereyda's use of video, modern branding and icons, were also brilliant....and he used the wonderful Carter Burwell to score his film. There is so much more to say, but, you get the picture. I loved it, as did my 13 year old son. And, as "brevity is the soul of wit," (Polonius) I will end by simply saying......bravo Almereyda!
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