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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.
Film #64 of Project 90
”If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.”
Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s groundbreaking and iconic play may not be as intense as the original work but it is a very gorgeous film that pleases the eye and with Branagha’s energetic directing and some spectacular performances from a top-class ensemble it is in fact a solid and enjoyable cinematic version of a legendary piece of literature. Even though Hamlet runs for almost four hours but there is enough drama in this timeless tragedy to enchant us and Branagh’s accurate understanding of characters and themes…
One of my 1000 recommended films.
I go through phases of liking this film a lot, and then thinking it is far too long, self-indulgent, and weirdly cast.
Kenneth Branagh, back in 1996, was still being touted as the new Olivier. He'd appeared on screen in Henry V (under his own direction) and Othello (under the direction of Oliver Parker, as Iago).
This version of Hamlet was his third Shakespeare film adaptation as director, following Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, and since Hamlet he has made versions of Love's Labour's Lost and As You Like It.
To say this is a full-text version of the play would not be exaggerating. In fact, in his eagerness to stay faithful…
Just terrific. Watching this again really did it for me. Branagh's Hamlet is a terrific adaptation and a triumphant film that utilizes the possibilities of the source material to full effect. The set design is immaculate, the cinematography is beautiful , and the scope is stunning (oh what I would give to see this in 70mm).
This is the perfect Hamlet for me: it combines the bard's exquisite work with the stylistic sensibilities of a true epic film. Marvelous.
The cinematography...good lord, the cinematography...
Mirrored doors, sumptuous chambers and winter land. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, decomposing behind the facade. Gone are the dark cellars, Gothic arches and desolate bastions; murder and deceit occur in brightly lit, candy-coloured rooms. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet is not a pathetic figure either, this is a man who could, and will, change the destiny of his nation. This is The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark as envisioned by a bold and ambitious artist.
As a director, Branagh’s stylistic flourishes are often beautiful and only rarely gaudy. For instance, the first appearance of the ghost of Hamlet's late-father is bad enough to make you cringe; the very next scene, however, is pure cinematic wonder. Reflections and…
This was much better than I expected.
Despite having enjoyed Kenneth Branagh's other Shakespeare adaptation, Henry V the 4 hour runtime on his version of Hamlet left me a little nervous. Now, I tend to like long movies, and considering my favorite film of all time has a 4 hour length, this fact really shouldn't have put me off. I was afraid it would be too drawn out and boring, but thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised with the film. While it does drag in places, Hamlet is ultimately a very captivating film that kept me interested for the entire time. The performances are excellent, especially from Branagh, who is equally as good behind the camera. The production design and costumes…
"Epic" is the word you're looking for.
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet , completely unabridged, containing every event and every line of dialogue from Shakespeare's play (even including some that were added later in the 1600s), really goes for it. This unprecedented, four hour-long adaptation is the best Shakespeare film I've seen. Both gloriously helmed, wondrously acted, and really, really, really funny.
It is a known fact that Shakespeare is best enjoyed seen as opposed to read. There's a reason that his name isn't very well regarded in the realm of middle-school classrooms. Few teenagers (even adults) like reading Shakespeare, and even those of us who do admit that some of it can be a bit tedious and difficult to power through.…
70mm @ MoMI
I've wrestled with this film since I first saw it in 1997, and whatever resistance I've felt towards it has now completely abated. Seeing this on a huge screen in 70mm was moving beyond words. The film is 242 minutes long, and not one of them is wasted.
I wrote about this wonderful wonderful film for Brooklyn Magazine.
I watched this movie over the course of a month in my English class, so that was an interesting experience. It was hilariously dramatic and entertaining and the ending was hilariously stupid, but as ridiculous as this movie was, I still liked it.
Okay, let's be honest. In my senior English class, we were expected to read this in the ENGLISH IV Literature book and was made exactly into the movie.
Released on Christmas Day, 1996 this 1996 Shakespearean tragedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the titular role as Prince Hamlet. The film also features Derek Jacobi as King Claudius, Julie Christie as Queen Gertrude, Kate Winslet as Ophelia, Michael Maloney as Laertes, Richard Briers as Polonius, and Nicholas Farrell as Horatio.
Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play, and is ranked among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling…
Excelente adaptación de la obra de Shakespeare. Una tragedia que logra mantener la esencia del teatro y el cine en una composición sensible de esta obra. Hamlet ambientada en el siglo xix por branagh logra retratar la personalidad reactiva, enceguecida, culposa y faltó de decisión de Hamlet. Todo esto sin perder la historia de poder paralela donde la venganza y la codicia se evidencian como enemigos internos para gobernar un reino. La tercera historia la del amor donde al igual que en las otras el egoísmo y la impulsividad dan rienda suelta a la pulsión de muerte. Maravillosa y de buen ritmo.
I’d always been intimidated by this film’s long running time, but it was clear that now was the right time to check it out for two reasons: firstly, I’ve been obsessing over Shakespeare adaptations lately (that Ethan Hawk thing was not enough to scratch my Hamlet itch), secondly it was announced that Kenneth Branagh would be directing the upcoming Thor movie and I want to catch up on some of his work. I’m glad I worked up the courage to see it because this is possibly the best Shakespeare adaptation I’ve ever seen. Doing an unabridged adaptation of the play seemed silly at first, but now it seems like the only way to do this stuff, I wish more adaptations…
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is a massive and ambitious affair, and one should give credit where credit is due. Nearly every line and action is lifted from the original work, bringing the runtime to over four hours long. The setting is brilliantly updated a few centuries into the future, allowing for a unique spin on the costume and art design.
While his performance may have toned down a bit from 1994's Frankenstein, Branagh's portrayal of Hamlet is just too over-the-top at times. It's also deliberately bitter and unsympathetic, bringing the character to near sociopathic behavior. Like the play, there are moments of happiness and sorrow, but fewer and farther between. This is most apparent and problematic with the character of Ophelia,…
The Bard + Kenneth Branagh + 70mm + Patrick Doyle score = Homer Simpson gurgling sound.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Complete list. :-(