- 2 hr 15 min
Hamlet (1990) is a contemporary take on the Shakespearean classic, directed and produced by Franco Zeffirelli. The movie stars Mel Gibson as the titular character, Glenn Close as Queen Gertrude, and Alan Bates as Claudius. The film was praised for its exceptional performances, superb direction, and a modern take on the timeless tale.
The film begins with a cold and somber opening shot of the funeral of King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet's father. The audience sees a grieving and distraught Prince Hamlet, who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father. When his mother, Queen Gertrude, remarries his uncle Claudius, the new King of Denmark, just a few weeks after his father's death, Hamlet descends into madness, grief, and disillusionment.
The film is dark, grungy, and moody, with Gothic elements that capture the play's macabre and melancholic tone. The visual effects, set designs, and costumes are brilliant, and the cinematography is stunning, with striking and evocative shots of Denmark's coastline and castle.
Mel Gibson's portrayal of Hamlet is exceptional. He brings a brooding intensity and emotional depth to the role, capturing Hamlet's complex inner turmoil, grief, and anguish. He portrays Hamlet as a brooding, tortured soul, whose struggles and inner turmoil are almost palpable. Gibson's delivery of some of the most memorable lines of the play, such as "To be or not to be," is powerful and evocative, highlighting Hamlet's existential crisis.
Glenn Close is equally brilliant as Queen Gertrude. She portrays her as a conflicted and complex character, torn between her love for her son and her loyalty and duty to her new husband, Claudius. Close portrays Gertrude's psychological and emotional state with nuance and subtlety, giving depth and complexity to the character.
Alan Bates is equally excellent as Claudius. He's a manipulative and cunning antagonist, who schemes and connives his way to the throne. He's charming and menacing, and Bates portrays Claudius's conflicting emotions of guilt and ambition with great skill.
The film's supporting cast is equally remarkable. Paul Scofield plays Hamlet's father as a ghost who haunts Hamlet, urging him to seek revenge on Claudius. Helena Bonham Carter plays Ophelia, Hamlet's lover, with raw emotion and sensitivity. Nathaniel Parker plays Laertes, Ophelia's brother, and Hamlet's nemesis, with great conviction.
The movie's use of music is also noteworthy. The haunting and melancholic score, composed by Ennio Morricone, perfectly captures the film's somber tone and emotional depth. The score's use of choir singing in Latin during the funeral scenes adds to the film's Gothic and ominous mood.
One of the most significant departures from the play is the ending. While in the play, the audience is left with a sense of ambiguity and unanswered questions about the bloody resolution, the film provides a more definitive and satisfying conclusion to the story.
In conclusion, Hamlet (1990) is a thought-provoking, haunting, and emotionally-charged modern adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play. The film's exceptional direction, superb performances, and striking visuals make it a treat for Shakespeare lovers and film enthusiasts alike. It's a must-watch for anyone looking for an intense and brooding cinematic experience.
Hamlet is a 1990 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 53.