Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best film of Hamlet, 8 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Hamlet (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
This film is the only full length version ever made, running for 242 minutes. Hamlet may be the greatest play in the language, but in performance it is always cut - the most recent film version ends with Horatio's speech "Farewell, sweet prince..." leaving the earlier references to the activities of Fortibras meaningless. Minor characters have had their lines restored and scenes like Claudius'conversations with Laertes and the soliloquy "How all occasions do inform against me" are back in. The result is to paint in the important political externalities of the plot and provide a justification of seeing Hamlet as a man unwilling to act decisively rather than Olivier's view [announced at the beginning of his film] that it is the story of a man who was unable to make up his mind. The full text is played as a study in power politics without fanciful psychological interpretations. This approach is helped by beautiful set design [full of corridors, mirrors and secret doors] the wide angle photography and by the use of the rather sinister baroque Blenheim Palace in the exteriors. Branagh himself is the most believable and dramatically coherent Hamlet I have seen
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4.2 out of 5 stars (101 customer reviews)
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