Watch Hamlet putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 29,195 votes
||Release: 6 February 1997 (Netherlands) /
||Director: Kenneth Branagh,
||Stars: Billy Crystal, Brian Blessed, Charles Daish, David Blair, Gérard Depardieu, Judi Dench, Julie Christie, Ken Dodd, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Bryant, Peter Bygott, Reece Dinsdale, Richard Attenborough, Richard Briers, Riz Abbasi
||Synopsis: Hamlet, son of the king of Denmark, is summoned home for his father's funeral and his mother's wedding to his uncle. In a supernatural episode, he discovers that his uncle, whom he hates anyway, murdered his father. In an incredibly convoluted plot--the most complicated and most interesting in all literature--he manages to (impossible to put this in exact order) feign (or perhaps not to feign) madness, murder the "prime minister," love and then unlove an innocent whom he drives to madness, plot and then unplot against the uncle, direct a play within a play, successfully conspire against the lives of two well-meaning friends, and finally take his revenge on the uncle, but only at the cost of almost every life on stage, including his own and his mother's. Written by John Brosseau <[email protected]>
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Watch Hamlet - Alternative Versions.
Part of the genius of Branagh's interpretation of Hamlet is in the use
of the techniques of the cinema to enhance the production. Branagh has
not condensed the acts like some mass market soup, as was done in
Olivier's 1948 Oscar-winning production, or in, say, Zeffirelli's 1989
Hamlet lite starring Mel Gibson (both excellent, though, within their
scope), but has kept every word while directing our understanding so
that even those only casually familiar with the play might follow the
intent and purpose with discernment. Recall that for Shakespeare--the
ultimate actor's playwright who wrote with precious few stage
directions--interpretation was left to the direction and the actors, an
open invitation that Branagh rightly accepts.
The use of flashback scenes of things implied, such as the amorous
union of Ophelia and her Lord Hamlet abed, or of a vast expanse of snow
darkened with distant soldiers to represent the threat of Fortinbras'
army from without, and especially the vivid remembrance in the mind's
eye of the new king's dastardly deed of murder most foul, helps us all
to more keenly appreciate just what it is that torments Hamlet's soul.
I also liked the intense closeups. How they would have bemused and
delighted an Elizabethan audience.
Branagh's ambitious Hamlet is also one of the most accessible and
entertaining, yet without the faintest hint of any dumbing down or
abbreviation. A play is to divert, to entertain, to allow us to
identify with others who trials and tribulations are so like our own.
And so first the playwright seeks to engage his audience, and only
then, by happenstance and indirection, to inspire and to inform.
Shakespeare did this unconsciously, we might say. He wrote for the
popular audience of his time, a broad audience, it should be noted,
that included kings and queens as well as knaves and beggars, and he
reached them, one and all. We are much removed from those times, and
yet, this play, this singular achievement in theatre, still has the
power to transcend mere entertainment, to fuse poetry and story, as
well as the high and the low, and speak once again to a new audience
twenty generations removed.
Branagh himself is a wonderful Hamlet, perhaps a bit of a ham at times
(as I think was Shakespeare's intent), a prince who is the friend of
itinerant players. He also lacks somewhat in statute (as we conceive
our great heroes); nonetheless his interpretation of the great prince's
torment and his singular obsession to avenge his father's murder speaks
strongly to us all. Branagh, more than any other Hamlet, makes us
understand the distracted, anguished and tortured prince, and guides us
to not only an appreciation of his actions, wild and crazy as they
sometimes are, but to an identification and an understanding of why
(the eternal query) Hamlet is so long in assuming the name of action.
In Branagh's production, this old quibble with Hamlet's character
dissolves itself into a dew, and we realize that he was acting
strongly, purposely all the while. He had to know the truth without
doubt so that he might act in concert with it.
I was also very much impressed with Derek Jacobi's Claudius. One
recalls that Jacobi played Hamlet in the only other full cinematic
production of the play that I know of, produced in 1980 by the BBC with
Claire Bloom as Gertrude; and he was an excellent Hamlet, although
perhaps like Branagh something less than a massive presence. His
Claudius combines second son ambition with a Machiavellian heart, whose
words go up but whose thoughts remind below, as is the way of villains
Kate Winslet is a remarkable Ophelia, lending an unusual strength to
the role (strength of character is part of what Kate Winslet brings to
any role), but with the poor, sweet girl's vulnerability intact. She
does the mad scene with Claudius as well as I have seen it done, and of
course her personal charisma and beauty embellish the production.
Richard Briers as Polonius, proves that that officious fool is indeed
that, and yet something more so that we can see why he was a counselor
to the king. The famous speech he gives to Laertes as his son departs
for France, is really ancient wisdom even though it comes from a fool.
Julie Christie was a delight as the besmirched and wretched queen. In
the bedroom scene with Hamlet she becomes transparent to not only her
son, but to us all, and we feel that the camera is reaching into her
soul. She is outstanding.
The bit players had their time upon the stage and did middling well to
very good. I liked Charlton Heston's player king (although I think he
and John Gielgud might have switched roles to good effect) and Billy
Crystal's gravedigger was finely etched. Only Jack Lemon's Marcellus
really disappointed, but I think that was mainly because he was so
poorly cast in such a role. Not once was he able to flash the Jack
Lemon grin that we have come to know so well.
The idea of doing a Shakespearean play with nineteenth century dress in
the late twentieth century worked wonderfully well, but I know not why.
Perhaps the place and dress are just enough removed from our lives that
they are somewhat strange but recognizable in a pleasing way. And
perhaps it is just another tribute to the timeless nature of
There is so much more to say about this wonderful cinematic production.
It is, all things considered, one of the best Hamlets ever done.
Perhaps it is the best. See it, by all means, see it for yourself.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut
to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it
Tags for Hamlet Full Movie
, Brian Blessed
, Charles Daish
, David Blair
, Gérard Depardieu
, Judi Dench
, Julie Christie
, Ken Dodd
, Kenneth Branagh
, Michael Bryant
, Peter Bygott
, Reece Dinsdale
, Richard Attenborough
, Richard Briers
, Riz Abbasi
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