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.
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
Well, okay, it ain't exactly Olivier, but...............
any movie that attempts to bring the Shakespeare canon to a new audience has to be allowed fairly wide latitude...so in the age of "Clerks", only right and fitting that we get a taste of Hamlet as a Kevin Smith-type community college slacker...filming from a severely truncated version of the play, this "Hamlet" still manages to provide some clever moments of originality...the "to be or not to be" monologue set in the "action" section of Blockbuster; an Ophelia who betrays Hamlet; the use of speakerphones and faxes to deliver dialog, in lieu of actors on screen...yeah, it's gimmicky...but if this is what it takes to get the Bard to the x and y-genners, then so be it...Joseph Papp would have approved...
that said, there's some interesting takes by Julia Stiles (Ophelia), Diana Venora (the Queen) and Bill Murray (Polonius) on their respective characters...it ain't all style over substance...
so come on, folks...you gave Mel a shot at this, didn't ya? give it a go...
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