The classic Shakespeare tragedy is revisioned in America at the turn of the 20th Century. Campbell Scott (Singles, The Spanish Prisoner) adapted, co-directed and stars in the title role ... See full summary »
Roscoe Lee Browne
Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom), with her cousin Celia ... See full summary »
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered by Claudius, Hamlet's uncle. Claudius usurps the throne of Denmark, and marries Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Hamlet is tormented, haunted, and increasingly unstable.
The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »
Jealousy and hatred is what separates the Pandava and Kaurava. The Kaurava fear the Pandava are after the throne of their father. Yudhishthira of the Pandava gets told by the deity Krishna that he will become king. A war is inevitable.
Set in a surrealistic, nightmarish, Kafkaesque no man's land, this version of the famous Shakespeare play centres on the ghostly, supernatural aspects of the play. The text is the original ... See full summary »
One could judge this two ways: first, as an original, self-contained film by Peter Brook; or second, as a production of Shakespeare's play.
While it's true that this is a handsome and well-acted production, I have to mark it down insofar as I think it gives the viewer a somewhat skewed idea of the play. Some of the cuts are actually quite drastic, particularly at the beginning of the play (it opens right into "O that this too too sullied flesh would melt...", and jumps right to Hamlet's meeting with the ghost), and while some of the lost dialog is replaced later on, it's often placed where it makes no sense (1. Polonius's and Ophelia's "Tender yourself more dearly".../"...All the holy vows of heaven" exchange takes place while Ophelia is telling her encounter in the sewing closet, when Polonius is supposed to be REPENTING his interference in Hamlet and Ophelia's romance; 2. The "Cast thy nighted color off...return not to Wittenberg" exchange comes AFTER Hamlet has spoken with the ghost, which changes the dynamic of Hamlet's barbs to Claudius entirely; and 3. "To be or not to be..." is dropped down in place of "How all occasions do inform against me...", when Hamlet's mood is inappropriate for it).
Mostly, though, the production bugs me in one specific way: it is done entirely humorlessly; Osric is gone, much of the graveyard scene is gone, and Polonius is played with all stately dignity. POLONIUS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A COMIC CHARACTER! The play, most especially the first half, is loaded with jokes which are designed to throw the audience off guard for the trauma and pathos of the climax. If the mood of the whole is played dark and brooding, you're losing much of the entertainment factor at which Shakespeare was a master. 'Hamlet' is a roller-coaster, not a subway train.
In sum, I'd say that Brook's 'Hamlet' is recommended for those who are familiar with the play and can see this as one man's vision, but is not recommended for those coming to the play for the first time.
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