Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
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...
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…
Kenneth Branagh, also known as Laurence Olivier reincarnate, attempts to adapt Shakespeare’s Hamlet forty eight years after Oliver made it possible to translate the bard to the screen. With almost half a century in between Branagh’s adaptation and Olivier’s there is so much cinematic evolvement that despite the having the same material and mostly same language there is a lot differing. Olivier, working in the 40s, draws on German Expressionism and film noir as his film language. He leans towards the darker, more tragic aspects of the play. He revels in Hamlet’s sorrow, grief and existentialism. This makes sense. An audience at that time, Post-World War II, would empathize with the uncertainty and unrest of the atmosphere Olivier creates. Branagh,…
This was only my second run through Hamlet, having seen a single stage production in the past. I never studied it. I wish I had, as I still find parts of it impenetrable. But even so, this film was absolutely amazing to watch, particularly post-intermission when Branagh brings Shakespeare's dramatic tragedy to full froth in a way that is exceptionally energetic, exciting and gloriously cinematic.
Branagh's direction is stylish, but not overbearing. Camera tracks and swirls beguile, but do not outstay their welcome. There is no sense of the film straining to be cinematic.
His visual compositions are often grand. That it was filmed (the interiors) on studio sets is sometimes obvious, but Branagh comes through with spirit and strong…
It really is impressive that Branagh managed to turn the greatest work of art in the English language into a bombastic, opulent would-be blockbuster without forsaking any of its poetic, dramatic or emotional heft.
That was long
A very handsomely crafted, unabridged version of the Shakespeare masterpiece, with both entertaining but occasionally distracting cameos and a showcase of Branagh's intimate understanding of the Bard's poetry and his exuberant love for it as well.
One thing Branagh does well here compared to some of his other Shakespeare adaptations is his reigning in of the tone of the piece to something akin to what Shakespeare intended, he is not afraid to let moments play out in dramatic fashion - although this is unsurprising as he is always aided by composer Patrick Doyle who's music perfectly complements Branagh's delivery of the dialogue in many of the important scenes.
Kenneth is a bit extra but i liked it
1. The film looks gorgeous
2. Great lead performance
3. Solid ensemble cast
4. The gravedigger scene
5. Dialogue feels natural
6. Good musical score
7. Extremely faithful adaption
1. It drags at points
The Verdict: A very ambitious and heartfelt rendition of one of Shakespeare's best plays.
Zunächst mal schicke ich gerne vorweg, dass ich, was Shakespeare angeht, nun wirklich kein Experte bin. Ich habe auch so gut wie keine Ahnung von Theater denn die wenigen Male, die ich im Theater war, sind auch schon einige Zeit her. Auch habe ich Hamlet nie gelesen.
Es kann also durchaus mit einer gewissen Gerechtfertigtkeit gesagt werden, dass ich vielleicht nicht beurteilen kann, ob Kenneth Brannaghs Hamlet eine gute Adaption des Stückes ist. Trotzdem habe ich das Gefühl, dass hier alles gemacht wurde, was man mit einer Hamlet-Adaption machen kann. Kenneth Brannagh ist einer meiner liebsten Regisseure und Schauspieler und für mich beweist er hier wieder mal, warum. Seit ich Mary Shelley's Frankenstein gesehen habe, bin ich von seinem Können…
Unfortunately, i have never watched the performance or read any of William Shakespeare's plays. From what i see, this is a direct adaptation of Hamlet without changing the writting to fit the big screen. For that, i applaud it.
The cinematography also helps make the whole thing cinematic enough. It's elegant and has a grand-scope. Only thing i would criticise is the beginning, where a ghost in form of the former king's statue appears. It looked like it was being handled on a 90s tv show, could have been more moody.
A much better film could potentialy be crafted from this story, if enough liberty is taken to the pacing and language. As it is, it's a exercise in play-to-film adaptaions and an oportunity for those who haven't been able to watch any Shakespeare play on the stage yet.
Absolute extravagance in set, costume, performance, and filming style - characterized by impressive long takes that really showcase the acting talent of the entire cast without the implied artificiality of quick cuts. Kenneth Branagh himself played Hamlet in the stage production by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the influences he brought from stage to the screen is clear. I watched this 4 hour comprehensive adaptation in multiple half-hour fragments across a month and rewatched scenes frequently, neither of which I've ever done before. The experience was different for I was able to absorb and notice things in greater detail but I lost the immersion and am ignorant of any potential pacing issues this film may have.
Complete list. :-(
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!