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Hamlet Film Response Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

Hamlet, one of the most intricate and influential plays by Shakespeare, debatably of all time. It has inspired not only appreciative readers and writing critiques but continuous generations of people. The inspiration led to the fabrication of many great movies, which wasn’t achievable until the 20th century. Before cinema was the prevalent method of sharing appreciation and spilling emotion for a specific subject, art portrayed what would fly through our minds such as the many interpretations of Ophelia’s death. With the imagery put into motion we can try and pick apart how certain people might view the play being portrayed and choose what best suits our expectation of this tragedy. Other things that only film has been able to present to us is the various camera angles, a setting that isn’t restricted to a stage and an audience that can be reached anywhere in the world. Also who is casted and how they will be dressed is crucial to the success of the movie although sometimes overlooked during the production process. Some movies represent these elements of mise-en-scene in an excellent matter such as the Kenneth Branagh version of Hamlet, while others would seem to disappoint my expectations for a great re-visualization of our suicidal hero like Micheal Almereyda’s Hamlet staring Ethan Hawke. Admirably though every Hamlet film to date has its own unique style, something that will please all audiences, with its unique pros and cons.
We can start off with something that we all easily take granted for in movies and that is the imagery. We all have imaginations that can produce an accurate image depending on what we read or see, but something the books or plays couldn’t accomplish is give the image to us. So we wouldn’t have to second guess if what we think in our heads is what the author or director would have in mind when creating the piece. The film that surpassed all my expectations and gave me exactly what I wanted to see was Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. The way I would picture King Hamlets great castle of Denmark came up exactly the way I thought it would. The 1800’s setting presented in this film gave it more of a professional feel to it and I loved the vibrant colours throughout the movie. So even though the play is suppose to give off a gloomy atmosphere, dealing with the concept of suicide, the vibrancy of every scene would grab your attention away from the themes for a few seconds. It lets you take in the beautiful scenery and how the play should’ve been set up if it did take place in the real world. Scenes such as the burial of Ophelia, where the imagery and setting change from the graveyard to Hamlets old memories of Yorick, the contrasts between such vibrant scenes and darker ones mix and interlace beautifully. This is something that neither Zeffirelli nor Almereyda were able to accomplish in their films. In Zaferelli’s Hamlet the imagery presented throughout was not more than what the settings it could not portray. It didn’t properly...

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