Watch Hamlet

"Passion, Betrayal, Revenge, A hostile takeover is underway."

Hamlet 2000 is a United States based movie. It is a film work directed by Michael Almereyda. Not surprising, Hamlet 2000 is a modern day adaptation of the story written by Shakespeare. In fact, the original play by the classic writer was one of the most powerful plays of all time. Hamlet 2000 is set in modern-day New York City. The actor Ethan Hawke plays the title role of Hamlet. He is a student of film. Julia Stiles is the film’s co-star playing Ophelia. Laertes is played by Liev Schreiber. Uncle Claudius is played by Kyle MacLachlan. Polonius is played by Bill Murray.

In the film version of Hamlet 2000, the character Claudius is CEO of a corporation titled “Denmark Corporation”. He takes over charge of the firm after taking the life of his brother (Hamlet’s father).

The newer version of Hamlet preserves the original dialogue of the classic Hamlet; however presents its contents in that of a modern-day environment. There is modern day technology throughout the film in the way of Polaroid cameras, surveillance bugs; and video apparatus. In example, the ghost of the murdered father of Hamlet makes his appearance on a closed circuit television.

The seat of Denmark’s power base or Elsinore Castle is reinvented in the way of the Hotel Elsinore: Headquarters for Denmark Corp.

Before Hamlet embarks upon saying the famous words: “To Be or Not to Be” etc. etc. he is viewing a video film of the famous Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh is explaining within the video presentation the rule: “To be is to be with Others; to be is to Inter-be.” This is a fundamental teaching of the Buddhist teacher’s “Order of Inter-being”.

Modern day adaptations are observed throughout the film of Hamlet 2000. The “Mousetrap” comes in the format of a video, made by Hamlet. Marcellus, originally a soldier is reinvented as Marcella: Horatio’s girlfriend. The captain in the army of Fortinbras is switched out for an air attendant when it is Hamlet is flying to England. Also, rather than Ophelia carrying flowers, she holds photographs of flora. Ophelia is an amateurish photographer in the movie version of Hamlet. Fortinbras’s conquests are not militaristic in nature: rather the conquests come in the form of corporation takeovers. The takeovers are instituted with the help of legal eagles or corporate attorneys. Laertes does not orchestrate a military conflict either: he only confronts the character Claudius. Ophelia does not drown in a brook like in Shakespeare’s play. She drowns in a fountain in front of the Hotel Elsinore; surrounded by reminders of her relationship with that of Hamlet. The ghost appears in Horatio’s bedroom as Marcella is sleeping; prior to Horatio and Hamlet entering the bedroom. The intervening of Osric is reinvented by way of a fax machine; inside Horatio’s and Hamlet’s apartment. Laertes’s message is delivered by way of fax prior to the duel. Osric however does make an appearance during the duel between Laertes and Hamlet. Laertes shoots Hamlet after which he shoots himself. Hamlet takes the same gun and shoots Claudius.

Cast of characters: Ethan Hawke plays Hamlet; Julia Stiles plays Ophelia; Diane Venora is Gertrude; Sam Shepard plays the Ghost; Liev Schreiber plays Laertes; Kyle MacLachlan plays Claudius; Bill Murray plays Polonius; Karl Geary plays Horatio; Steve Zahn and Dechen Thurman play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; Casey Affleck is Fortinbras; Jeffrey Wright plays the Gravedigger; Paula Malcomson plays Marcella; Paul Bartel plays Osric; and Tim Blake Nelson is the Flight Captain

The movie is full of vitality and is for an intelligent audience. It is admirably dark; absorbing and takes you successfully away from your daily activities.

Hawke’s acting job in the title role of Hamlet is splendid. He is youngish; shows a great deal of sensitivity; emotional intensity coupled with some idealism. He has a good grasp of the various thought-processes of human-beings.

The just deceased chief executive officer of Denmark Corporation appears to the Character Hamlet. He tells Hamlet about the killing; demanding vengeance and identifying the murderer as that of Claudius. Claudius is the new CEO of the Denmark Corporation. He is Hamlet’s uncle and current Stepfather.

Hamlet must make the determination as to whether or not the ghost he has seen is really that of his deceased father. He also must determine if Claudius in fact performed the crime.

In order to increase his chances of making the determination; Hamlet acts as if he has gone mad. In order to activate his Uncle’s conscience, he provides him with an invitation to view a movie which he has made showing a storyline about murder. He observes and is finally convinced of the guilt of Claudius; Hamlet decides he must avenge his Father.

Claudius now is aware Hamlet is a threat to him. He uses Ophelia, Hamlet’s love interest, in his own schemes; against Hamlet.

The setting of the new Hamlet is once again contemporary New York City. Its reinvention of Shakespeare’s famous play is interesting: a welcoming diversion.

R
| 2000 | 1 hr 52 min | 6.0/10 | 70/100
Cast
Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Diane Venora, Sam Shepard
Studio
Miramax Films
Director
Michael Almereyda
Language
English
Ad
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