Directed and starring Kenneth Branagh, this movie is a lush, lavish, magnificent production of Hamlet. All of the characters do justice to the language of Shakespeare's play as well as its emotional and intellectual force. Branagh is superb as the cerebral, conflicted prince who is impelled to avenge his father, who has been killed by Hamlet's Uncle Claudius.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Esther
The young prince of Denmark returns from college to find his father dead and his father's brother Claudius married to his mother, queen Gertrude. The ghost of Hamlet's father tells the prince that the current king murdered his predecessor, and the prince sets out to test the theory and plan his revenge. Director Franco Zeffirelli's version strips the play of more than half of Shakespeare's script, including the character of Fortinbras and most of Ophelia's lines. Glenn Close is far too young to be Mel Gibson's mother (only 9 years difference in age), and some may object to a heavy emphasis on their Oedipal relationship. Strangely, Alan Bates plays Claudius as an unredeemable villain. Still, the principals act gamely and are well supported by great veterans of the stage and beautiful camera work. This is probably the best "traditional" Hamlet for the masses.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
After his father's funeral, the Danish Prince Hamlet sees that his mother has married his uncle. Soon the ghost of his father says that his uncle murdered him and he wants Hamlet to avenge him.
The review of this Movie prepared by Jenna Smith
Puleeze! It's Mad Max playing the Mad Dane, and the Mad Dane sorely loses! Mel Gibson's vanity fair here may have enthralled countless movie goers (who perhaps didn't
know any better), but Hamlet, mad or otherwise, Mel Gibson is not. Still, Director Frano Zeffirelli doesn't do badly (Zeffirelli being an acknowledged Shakespearean scholar!).
While his best is still “Romeo and Juliet,” he assembles an interesting cast: Glenn Close as Gertrude, Alan Bates as Claudius, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia. While bringing this Shakespearean play of plays to the screen, Zeffirelli's interpretations can be called to task--it's his options, surely, but the viewer doesn't necessarily have to agree with him. His adding some of his own lines, of course, is a bother (why tamper with the masterpiece?)
and his re-arranging some of the scenes, at an attempt, one supposes to put some originality into the movie, doesn't go well either with the purists. Granted, it is “Hamlet” and merely by retaining SOME of the lines, one can't go wrong!
The review of this Movie prepared by Bill Hobbs