“Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.”
Tackling THE Shakespearean tragedy for the blog’s first DVD review and for the first review of a TV movie is perhaps a bit overly ambitious. Much like any staging of Hamlet, done in any medium, a review of Hamlet must figure out what new things it can say about a canonical piece of literature (no qualifier such as “Western” or “world” needed). Indeed, critiquing the script is pretty pointless (sure, I could complain about which quarto the production used, but I’m not that much of a Shakespeare nerd), so you’re left deciding if the production’s version of the script offers a new spin, if there is cultural relevancy, and whether or not the actors make the script engaging or collapse under its immense weight.
This particular adaption, based on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s staging from their 2008 season with the majority of that cast returning for the film, works very well even if it’s a bit conservative in its staging (compared, say, to Branagh’s opus, the gold standard of filmed versions). However, it’s well worth a watch if only for some fine performances. Read more »
- May 29, 2010