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Hamlet (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  23 June 2000 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 7,760 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 165 user | 85 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Modern-day New York City adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal story about Hamlet's plight to avenge his father's murder.

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Cast

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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 June 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amlet 2000  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$62,253 (USA) (12 May 2000)

Gross:

$17,432 (UK) (15 December 2000)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 29, Ethan Hawke is the youngest actor to play Hamlet on film. It is also close to the age Hamlet is supposed to be in the original text, which is 30. See more »

Goofs

In Gertrude's bedroom, just after Hamlet kills Polonius, a boom mic is reflected in the windows. See more »

Quotes

Ghost: I am thy father's spirit.
See more »

Connections

Version of Hamlet (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 1: First Movement
(excerpt)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played when Hamlet rides in the limousine
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User Reviews

 
Nice try, but not the words don't all come trippingly from all the actors' tongues.
31 July 2000 | by (glendale, new york) – See all my reviews

Here is the first film version of Hamlet to come along in modern New York. The director's use of New York is fun to watch for this native New Yorker, although how a limo can quickly move from 42nd St. between Broadway and Eighth Avenue to 48th St. and Sixth Avenue is beyond me.

But asisde from that, all we care about when we see Hamlet is how is the text handled, by both the director and the cast. The director, Michael Almereyda, has cut into the script and most of the film runs surprising lean for something that runs one hour, fifty-three minutes. His use of short films in the background, speaker phones, TV's and the like run the gambit from ingeneous to "Give me a BREAK!"

The casting however is inconsitent, for which we can certainly blame the director. Ethan Hawke, in the title role, has drive and energy. But if anybody remembers the TV show "The Critic", when they had Keanu Reeves doing Hamlet, then you know what I'm thinking. The words "Dude" and "Whoa" seems ready to break into Hawke's speeches at anytime. The complexity is replaced by a whiny "I'm in pain, but I'm cool" attitude for the bulk of the film and it doesn't really work. The mumbling of at least a fourth of his lines doesn't help either. He works better in silence, brooding.

The silence works even better for Julia Styles as Ophelia. When quiet, the pain of abandonment and loss is heartfelt. Then she opens her mouth, and the lack of a developed character as well as an appalling lack of command of Shakespeare's words is obvious. Ophelia, never mind getting thee to a nunnery, get thee "Beverly Hills, 90210", GO!

Bill Murray veers form earnestness to his Lounge Singer's act from "SNL" when doing Polonius. I know the role was suppose to be for comic relief. But after a while, everything Murray says is funny- intenionally or otherwise.

Kyle McLaughlin, as Claudius, doesn't fare much better. There is little distinction in his line readings, and in the end, he just comes off as a one-trick pony. Diane Verona is marginally better as Gertrude. The attitude is there, as is the pain, but her line readings lack a freshness to them.

The standouts are Sam Sheppard as the Ghost, Steve Zahn and Dechen Thurman as Rosencrnatz & Guildenstern, and especially Liev Schrieber as Laertes. Schrieber in paricularly as the energy, clearity, and believabilty that makes you wonder what if he played Hamlet instead of Schrieber. We probably would have had a better movie.


21 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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