Glorious adaptation of the finest play ever written with Branagh taking the helm once again as director and star of this massive four hour epic about lies, deception and treachery in Denmark. Splendid cinematography and a stand out performance by the great Jacobi as Claudius are the most striking elements of the film. But...Branagh's casting of familiar Hollywood faces forces me to coin this film as "The Who's Who of Hollywood Stars Cast in Shakespeare...Who Can't Do Shakespeare!" Obviously, the example that has been most pointed out is Jack Lemmon as Marcellus. First of all, he's not that horrible. Yes, he is not a Shakespearean actor and vocally, he struggled with the content of the text, but the physical presence of the Jack Lemmon that has been in motion pictures for four decades is there and I can see Branagh's reasons for the casting decision. For die hard fans of the play, natrually they hate Lemmon's performance...although he's out of there after the first twenty minutes. My advice, if you dislike it that much...fastforward...but trust me, I've seen worse. (Check out the 1970 film version of "Julius Caesar," with Charlton Heston, who incidentially has a small role as the Player King in Branagh's film.)
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