6 of 22 people found the following review helpful
To Cut Or Not To Cut,
This review is from: Hamlet [DVD]  (DVD)
I thought Julie Cutler's review was spot-on. Never having seen any point in Dr Who, I went to Stratford mainly out of curiosity and I, too, found Tennant's whackiness rather odd. I was particularly perplexed when he left out a chunk of the To Be Or Not To Be monologue and assumed that he had simply suffered an aberration on the night. Astonishingly, on watching the filmed version, I found that the cut in the most famous speech in the world had been repeated and so was deliberate. How bizarre is that?
I was, however, very impressed with Patrick Stewart as Claudius, especially after finding him such a disappointment a couple of years ago in The Tempest.
For me, though, the stand-out performance in Tennant's Hamlet came from Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius. Every gesture, every word exactly as I pictured the perfect Polonius to be. This, truly, was a definitive performance.
Those who saw Adrian Lester's recent magnificent Hamlet would realise how short of the mark David Tennant stood. And those who went on from Stratford to see Jude Law as the Prince in London were rewarded with a far more powerful and convincing Dane than the wild-eyed "Doctor".
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Initial post: 15 Jan 2010 17:17:37 GMT
"Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius"...."a definitive performance". Whoa, boy. The DVD's commentary track asserts quite clearly that the word "definitive" doesn't really belong in any discussion of Hamlet performances - the play is much too rich to be circumscribed in that way; all great art is unfathomable, and the director of this production and his colleagues do state on the commentary that it was just their take on the play. As for the Polonius role, compare Mr Ford Davies' interpretation with that of Richard Briers in Branagh's 1996 movie. Two very different performances, but both equally valid.
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