Castle Rock Entertainment

242 min     7.439     1996     United Kingdom


Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother now marrying the murderer... his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.


DocTerminus wrote:
Without a doubt, Branagh's film of **HAMLET** is the most ambitious Shakespeare film to date. He goes all in on.. well, everything. He brings aboard a stellar all-star cast, too many to highlight all, but includes Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Jack Lemmon - none of which are known for their Shakespearian pedigree. Branagh takes on Hamlet, the largest role in all of Shakespeare - and most English language literature. His interpretation is - not surprisingly - brilliant and worthy of study. Kate Winslet plays his challenged love Ophelia, and Derek Jacobi is the fraudulent King. Rounding out the largest roles, Julie Christie is the doomed queen and Richard Briers is the fussy Polonius. All excellent in their handle of the language and expression of humanity. Much of the film takes place inside the castle of Elsinore, a gorgeous and regal stage set lined with mirrors to challenge each individual's intentions and a chess-board floor to accentuate the challenge in the royal battle for checkmate. The Elsinore grounds are widespread and scenes in the snow covered Danish mountains all shown in glorious 65mm film... an extremely detailed film stock that was rarely used because of the extreme expense and cumbersome camera size. With **HENRY V** and **MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING**, Branagh has proven he is a master of adapting Shakespeare's long form story into much more manageable American movie length. Well, here he goes all in and captures the 4 hour play in its uncut full length. The film was shown with a 15 minute intermission. **HAMLET** itself is doubtlessly one of the most intelligent character studies ever written by any author, and Branagh does a great job recording that. Even many other productions of the show do as good a job or even better job in relaying that story. Either way Branagh's film work is filled with many treasures and to this point, his Shakespeare films are close to flawless. For now...