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Hamlet (2000)

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

Director:

Michael Almereyda

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Michael Almereyda (screen adaptation)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Hamlet
Kyle MacLachlan ... Claudius
Diane Venora ... Gertrude
Sam Shepard ... Ghost
Bill Murray ... Polonius
Liev Schreiber ... Laertes
Julia Stiles ... Ophelia
Karl Geary ... Horatio
Paula Malcomson ... Marcella
Steve Zahn ... Rosencrantz
Dechen Thurman Dechen Thurman ... Guildenstern
Rome Neal Rome Neal ... Barnardo
Jeffrey Wright ... Gravedigger
Paul Bartel ... Osric
Casey Affleck ... Fortinbras
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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

Plot Keywords:

murder | guilt | city | ghost | revenge | See All (113) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amlet 2000 See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,253, 14 May 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,568,749, 13 August 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

double A Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only lines in the movie which are not from the original play are messages played by machines, or when the GraveDigger is singing a song ("All Along the Watchtower"). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hamlet: The play's the thing, with which I'll catch the conscience of the king.
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Connections

Version of Hamlet (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Echoes of Ossian, Op. 1 in A Minor
Composed by Niels Wilhelm Gade
Courtesy of CPO by arrangement with Naxos of America, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
A potent translation
15 May 2000 | by jchongSee all my reviews

With his stunning new vision of the most revered of Shakespeare's plays, director Michael Almereyda has effectively transposed many of the enduring themes of that classic work to our contemporary hi-tech era. Even if you are not very familiar with Shakespeare's plays or have always been confounded by his verse, one can still appreciate this film for the tremendously inventive ways by which Almereyda has interpreted the core scenes of Hamlet in the context of corporate America. His visually striking translation of scenes like Ophelia's drowning and Hamlet's famous `to be or not to be' soliloquy are a delight and true brain candy. The cast is all around superb, with the classically delivered lines from actors Liev Schreiber (Laertes) and Sam Shepard (Ghost) nicely counterbalancing the very contemporary style of delivery from Ethan Hawk (Hamlet), Bill Murray (Polonius), and Julia Stiles (Ophelia).

There will no doubt be much comparison between this film and Baz Luhrmann's flashy modern remake of Romeo and Juliet. However, whereas Luhrmann's film ultimately fails in going beyond the boundaries of its visually striking presentation, Almereyda's Hamlet proves to be far more than a mere spectacle for the senses. In fact, this is the serious flaw that plagues most of the films coming from young, talented independent filmmakers these days: all style, no substance. Well, this Hamlet has both. By setting the film deep in the heart of a very real and very modern steel and concrete American jungle like New York City, which is infused with the relics of the mass media and cold capitalistic consumerism, Almereyda powerfully enhances for the audience the sense of the desolation of his characters that results from urban isolation. This is a theme that Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai has so masterfully examined with his films Fallen Angels and Chungking Express. In Hamlet, we get a powerful dose of both Kar-Wai's visual flair and the sensitive, crumbling heart that it sheathes.


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