The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio, when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago.
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.
Hamlet returns to Denmark when his father, the King, dies. His mother Gertrude has already married Hamlet's uncle Claudius, the new King. They urge Hamlet to marry his beloved Ophelia. But soon the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and tells Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius and Gertrude. Hamlet must choose between passive acquiescence and the need for a vengeance which might lead to tragedy.Written by
About Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" monologue, many critics have complained for decades about the line: "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them?" The complaint is that Hamlet is mixing metaphors: Fortune (Fate) does not actually shoot arrows at people, and you can't use your swords against the sea. The assumption seems to be that Shakespeare was too tired, or too lazy, to fit metaphorical causes with metaphorical effects. Shakespeare (and therefore Hamlet) were too smart to be that sloppy in their speech. Hamlet is complaining that these forces (fate and the ocean) are precisely too abstract, too formless, too monstrous, and too inhuman for a human to use weapons against - arrows against a vague idea such as Fortune, or swords and knives against an ocean. You can't fight on those levels. Hamlet was grieving, but he was never stupid. See more »
During the "confrontation" between Hamlet and Ophelia, the shadow of a camera can be seen on the floor behind Ophelia as Hamlet begins to circle her.. See more »
Hamlet! Think of us as of a father. For let the world take note: you are the most immediate to our throne. And with no less nobility of love than that which dearest father bears his son do I impart toward you.
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One American print, which as of January 2016 appears on Paramount's Vault Channel on YouTube, features no credits overlaid during the first two minutes of the film as seen on most prints (aside from the title) and the same goes for the end titles, which leaves only a black screen with music, followed by the Paramount logo. It is unknown how or why there are essentially no credits at all on this print; it is most likely an accident that the distributor was unaware of. See more »
Mel Gibson and Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Hamlet has filled some of the gaps left by Shakespeare. This version of the classic story is thoroughly watchable. Gibson is perfect as Hamlet the Prince of Denmark, and he is well supported by Glenn Close (Gertrude), Alan Bates (Claudius), Ian Holm (Polonius) and Helena Bonham Carter (Ophelia). However, after already seeing Kenneth Branagh's 4-hour long version, I was left a little let down. Although this version was only 2 hours 20 minutes approximately, it was more boring in parts than Branagh's was. And no one can beat Kate Winslet as Ophelia, though Bonham Carter performed the lunatic scenes extremely well.
The acting, as is aboveforementioned, is the highlight of this version. You can see the emotions boiling over on Gibson's face, and Close gives Gertrude's nature a remarkable realism as both a worried mother and a lustful lover. Bates is the best Claudius I have ever seen, and Holm displays in Polonius what makes him such a great actor.
This Hamlet has an extremely good set design that complements the mood of each scene perfectly. The castle has a great look to it, both inside and outside.
The costumes, particularly those worn by Close, are excellent. They really highlight the mood and temprament of her character perfectly. On top of this, all of the costumes worn by the players (actors in Hamlet's play) in colour and shape symbolise the message that Hamlet was trying to get across.
Technically, this film is very well put together. The shots are each able to complement the action in that shot. Sound effects, especially in the ghost apparitions, as well as the lighting and juxtapositioning, set the moody feel of the film.
Of course, one cannot escape comparing this to Branagh's masterpiece, though in its own right is is a great version of Shakespeare's play that, through its star power and easier-to-follow storyline, should attract the younger audiences that saw Baz Lurmann's 'Romeo + Juliet', '10 Things I Hate About You' and will possibly see the upcoming 'O'. ***1/2 out of *****.
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