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Comparing and Contrasting “Hamlet” by Shakespeare

The 2000 film, is directed and produced by Michael Almereyda and stars Ethan Hawke in the leading role occurred in the modern New York City. Rather than the family of Hamlet, a royal family that owns the Denmark Corporation, a firm headquartered in Hotel Elsinore is the centre of attraction in both film and the play. On other hand, Hamlet is a film student while Claudius controls the company after killing the father to Hamlet. The kinds of weapons that are adapted, such as the poisoned rapier, became a gun. In the play, Marcellus is soldier who adapts as Marcella and the girlfriend to Horatio in the film. According to the play, Laertes tries to establish and revolt against the authority in the film by simply confronting Claudius. Rather than drowning in the river, Ophelia meets her fate in the fountain that is right in the front of Hotel Elsinore with flowers surrounding it, but with photographic memories of her relationship with Hamlet.

Comparing and Contrasting “Hamlet” by Shakespeare

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This film is far much apart from Shakespeare’s interpretation of the contemporary New York setting as the play uses traditional approach. Hawke portrays the arrogant sides of Hamlet with a pretentious New York movie student persona. Interestingly, as the idea of her being a snobby film student is considerate, Hawke fails to fulfill its potential in several ways. First, in “Sean Penn” method of acting style, he evidently mumbles his lines. Although this clearly interprets Hamlet’s frustration and grief, the language zest of Shakespeare is lost in the film’s dull monotone and tired, depressed voice. Second, unlike Gibson Hamlet, the film changes into an annoying wimp (Act 3, Scene). Interestingly, the scene is performed in an isle of a video store. Although Gibson’s performance manifests the real character of Hamlet, there are significant differences between the play and the film regarding validity according to the opinion of Cedric Watt as the Hamlet encourages actors to look for new ways to perform their roles.

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Seemingly, the film’s adaptation of “Hamlet” is an interesting one as it adapts the play into a contemporary setting and addresses some very creative liberties with the original texts- to mixed success. First, Almereyda’s 2000 adaptation of “Hamlet” demonstrates a creative feeling by changing the entire original setting of the play, and favors the contemporary New York environment with complete skyscrapers, taxi-cabs, and yuppies among others. The former Denmark Corporation is now called “Denmark Corp” and Claudius becomes the new CEO. This new setting seems to be new compared to the play setting- except that the sets look very sterile and very modern. Besides, the film applies technology in its entire storytelling potential; nonetheless, viewers may consider the new methods of advancing the play as gimmicky- as the ghost of Hamlet’s father is visible through the security system, fax machines transmit important messages while Hamlet delivers his asides to his film student video camera. For the majority part, the film generally succeeds in its contemporary interpretation; however, the production fails to reflect the ideas of how the play should be performed.

Whilst, the play seems more realistic than the film itself, the latter produces some good moments. The film presents the play in its lavish four hours where the character of Hamlet is realized and assessed through more scope for character development. Almereyda’s Hamlet enables the audience to gradually share the anguish and frustration felt by Hamlet. More so, the film’s creativity enables the audience to feel his vengeful obsessions for the murder of his father, coupled with is ambitious traits- after all, Claudius has already stolen the crown from him. Rather than wallowing in his own grief, Hamlet plots and waits for an opportunity to strike and claim what rightfully belongs to him and not just indecisively sit there. Seemingly, the play brings to the screen the real Hamlet as summed up in his own words, “there isn’t anything in the play suggesting that Hamlet is buried in gothic gloom or that he is self-indulgently sad sack. He is a soldier as well as a scholar and a renaissance man.” This brings out the dull picture in the play and pictorially leaves viewers to sympathize with him. Therefore, the film brings out the finer details that are hidden in the play.

Ideally, Almereyda’s Hamlet is a production that mirrors the ideal interpretation of masterwork of Shakespeare. He executes his creativity license through transposition of the play into a Victorian setting and uses the film language, and a fine cast to achieve a rich and full movie translation. Furthermore, the film remains true to the words and feel of the play as it brings some interesting ideas to the screen. The immortal staple point of the film is the timeless and undiluted themes and language that are free of gimmickry and distracting ideas. However, the film has a different version of Hamlet in terms of choice of music, costumes, setting, and lighting among others. His idea of removing some lines from the original play is a challenging task to imagine, but Almereyda has managed to make the film enjoyable through the interpretation of enthusiastic characters and creating great scenes. However, some of his interpretation of the play seems unsuccessful as he attempts to modernize the play. Its plot is more comprehensible for the current viewers since it is set at the present time; however, combining Shakespearian texts fails to suit with the movie.

References

  1. Almereyda, M. (2000). Hamlet (Film). Miramax Films.
  2. Kliman, B. W. (Ed.). (2002). Approaches to teaching Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Modern Language Association of America.

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Comparing and Contrasting "Hamlet" by Shakespeare
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The 2000 film, is directed and produced by Michael Almereyda and stars Ethan Hawke in the leading role occurred in the modern New York City. Rather than the family of Hamlet, a royal family that owns the Denmark Corporation, a firm headquartered in Hotel Elsinore is the centre of attraction in both film and the play. On other hand, Hamlet is a film student while Claudius controls the company after killing the father to Hamlet. The kinds of weapons that are adapted, such as the poisoned rapier, b
2021-11-15 04:54:24
Comparing and Contrasting
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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