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Action / Drama

Plot summary

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Mel Gibson Photo
Mel Gibson as Hamlet
Stephen Dillane Photo
Stephen Dillane as Horatio
Glenn Close Photo
Glenn Close as Gertrude
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.21 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 14 min
P/S 3 / 4
2.24 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 14 min
P/S 4 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle6 / 10

pretty good performance

Director Franco Zeffirelli gives his version of the famous William Shakespeare play. It's been 3 decades since I read the play and I don't pretend to be an expert in Shakespearean work. Zeffirelli puts the locations to good use although I want better representation of the spirit. It doesn't use cinema to the fullest and leaves the movie locked in as a play. Glenn Close is Queen Gertrude. She's playing it on the flighty side. I like the character more as a harlot. This is a showcase for Mel Gibson and he gives it his all. He comes away with a good performance. I don't think it's a complete performance but he is a compelling big screen movie star. He is able to hold the audience.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird6 / 10

Wanted to like it but didn't really work for me....

I saw this film as I love the play and I do like Franco Zeffirelli(especially for his opera films like La Traviata). While this 1990 film is far from terrible, it is the weakest for me of the three Hamlet films I've seen- I loved Branagh's and especially Olivier's- and possibly Zeffirelli's weakest Shakespeare adaptation also. It does have some undeniably good points, it is very well made with very evocative scenery, beautiful atmospheric lighting, sumptuous costuming and cinematography that is moody yet shimmering. The music is haunting and the sound effects really enhance the mood. The script is condensed, but still is very powerful and moving when needed. Ian Holm is a very effective Polonious, the character is creepier than one would expect but it proved to be an interesting touch. Mel Gibson was better than expected, initially it does scream disaster but actually he is charismatic and delivers his lines with meaning. He is perhaps too old for the role(but understandably as other reviewers have pointed out) and Branagh and Olivier conveyed Hamlet's tragedy more convincingly but coming from a non-fan of Gibson this is not a bad performance at all. The acting honours go to Glenn Close, whose Gertrude is beautifully elegant, expressive and sincere. On the other hand, while it is a long play with much complexity and so forth(therefore a slow unfolding pace is necessary) there are some scenes that do come about as too drawn-out and laborious. Zeffirelli I do like for his sumptuous style and how directs actors(and singers),but he does bring forth ideas that are interesting in hindsight but don't do very well in terms of the motivations of the characters, Orphelia and Claudius in particular really suffer from this, and like his Jane Eyre it does get pedestrian in places. Two performances don't work. Alan Bates did have potential to, he is a great actor and has done creepy and evil very well before in The Shout for example. But, not helped by the fact that the scenes make Claudius the character he is are severely reduced, consequently Bates is never evil enough. The worst offender though is Helena Bonham Carter, she has given very good performances(A Room with a View, Sweeney Tood and Howards End) before and like Bates seemed ideal for the role. The reasons why she wasn't is largely again to do with Zeffirelli, the idea to not have Orphelia poignant and meek and instead have her as the complete opposite, strong-willed and almost headstrong was a big mistake, undermining her lunacy scenes. Whereas they should be moving, this change to the character is partly why Bonham Carter's performance feels wildly overacted. On the whole, didn't really work from my perspective but it is not a bad film. 6/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by PWNYCNY10 / 10

Outstanding rendition of the Shakespeare classic.

On the surface, one might reasonably conclude that Mel Gibson and Glenn Close starring in Hamlet may be some kind of joke, a parody of the Shakespeare play, but there is no joke. This movie is for real and both Mr. Gibson and Ms. Close give commanding performances in their respective roles. This movie is proof that when given quality material under excellent direction, talented actors will flourish. The rest of the cast is stellar too, but this movie squarely revolves around the two lead characters and if their performances fail, then the whole movie fails. In recent years, Mel Gibson's reputation has taken hits, but there can be no denying that he is a gifted actor and in this movie presents a novel, dynamic interpretation of Hamlet that brings new life to the character, transforming a brooding young man into a man of action who takes charge and pays the price, wherein lays the tragedy. For Hamlet is a tragedy. However, unlike previous renditions of the play, which focus on the murky and somber, this rendition is lit up, the characters are active, Gertrude is young and beautiful, all of which make the ending even more provocative and powerful. This movie should have been nominated for an Academy Award in every major category; that it wasn't is perplexing. All in all, this movie represents another triumph for Franco Zefirrelli, once again who proves that Shakespeare can be produced for the screen, if you do it right.

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