Yet another pleasure is watching Sir Patrick Stewart literally play against himself - mano y mano - as Hamlet's mournful ethereal specter and the greedy, selfish brother. Polonius and Horatio are okay but unremarkable. The news pushes him over the edge into madness or does it? He is more in control of the situation than he lets on, sending Hamlet to England or poisoning the cup. He makes a believable turn into a more crafty schemer. Many thought provoking ideas are brought out of the play that I hadn't seen or delved deeply before. When Hamlet kills Polonius, he shoots him through a mirrored door. Hamlet returns to Denmark when his father, the King, dies.
They urge Hamlet to marry his beloved Ophelia. The choice provides a lot of food for thought about the characters. Tennant's Hamlet, in an unusual choice, entirely yields the scholarly high ground to Polonius, by turns hilarious, terrifying, and heartbreaking rather than intellectual. These modern touches make the scenes look familiar, but the language remains the same. Stewart as Claudius give a more subdued performance. Unfortunately, Tennant and Stewart shine so much that the other actors are underwhelming by comparison.
This is no dour, Olivier performance. Taken as a whole, this film version is definitely worth viewing. Another element is the use of mirrors. . On the positive side, it's thoughtfully done and could whet teens' appetite for more of the Bard. Besides this quirky casting choice, director Gregory Doran propels this oft-told tale through the tone and inflection that each character brings to the all too familiar silted language of the Bard. If viewers start getting distracted, feel free to take a break then come back for the exciting conclusion.
This viewing is the first time I thought Claudius was a bit of an idiot at the beginning. Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet and Ophelia's conversation through a one-way mirror. Thankfully, this isn't that sort of adaptation. Pairing David Tennant with Patrick Stewart, who is a double foil as both the slain ghost king father and Hamlet's uncle Claudius is masterful casting in this version from the Royal Shakespearean Company. Stewart has him bumbling a little bit. The setting is not medieval; Elsinore Castle is more modern with security cameras and large mirrors everywhere.
But soon the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and tells Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius and Gertrude. Few of the characters stand out as good examples, as they are all motivated by selfish desires to pursue actions that range from venal to evil. The sound is sometimes a bit muffled and difficult to decipher — this is not a good thing when trying to watch Shakespeare. David Tennant Doctor Who is a different beast altogether in this role as the young Danish prince, tormented by the ghost of his dead father and overcome with the urge for vengeance toward his uncle. Here, the complicated revenge plots and counterplots employ swords and daggers as well as pistols. One could easily close their eyes and simply bask in the joy of the rise and fall of phrases and words spun into this delightful audio experience.
Theirs and all the family relationships are richly nuanced, believable without devolving into the Oedipal psychology that Freud partly derived from his own reading of this play. It's an interesting choice, suggesting Hamlet's disparaging comparisons between his father and his uncle might be more exaggerated than accurate. It provides a decent lifelike image free from obvious artifacts with natural flesh tones, good shadow details, and very limited amounts of video noise, even in the various low-light settings. That actor should have been bumped up to Polonius's role. His mother Gertrude has already married Hamlet's uncle Claudius, the new King.
After the mock play in which he sees for the first time in an objective way how he killed his brother, he realizes the evil he's done but can't quite repent of it. The most informative option, and also the dullest, will be the audio commentary. Campbell Scott does double duty as co-director and star in this slightly abridged version of the play it's nowhere near as complete as Kenneth Branagh's exhaustive four-hour. Such performances are easy to parody because they come so close to overdoing it. The of London has made a television version of its smash hit production of Hamlet starring and.
At some points, he does look totally bonkers. Watch for Stewart doubling as the ghost of Hamlet's father, reaching out a hand to console Gertrude Penny Downie in a nice moment that captures the detailed, well developed, coherent interpretation discernible throughout this remarkable production. Speaking of space and time, you'd think I'd comment about and crossing over in medieval Denmark. Oliver Ford Davis, an actor unfamiliar to audiences outside Stratford-upon-Avon, is a sublimely pedantic Polonius. It's an odd blend of contemporary and historical set dressing and costuming meant to evoke a timeless quality.
Snippets of scenes are shown as surveillance footage. Tackling the roles of Hamlet and his uncle Claudius over the years have been numerous actors too many to mention, but all great and well known in their own right — Olivier, Gibson, Branagh, MacLachalan — the list runs on for a good, long while. At times, the backgrounds seem just a little soft and black levels tends towards the greyish part of the spectrum, but other than that it is a satisfactory image. Other characters also lie and scheme in pursuit of power, vengeance, or due to anger. Tennant is convincing and doesn't go over the top, in the same way as Anthony Hopkins in and Heath Ledger in keep from going too far. Stewart also plays the Ghost of Hamlet's father.