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on 26 January 2015
We saw the Stratford RSC production and really enjoyed it - David T was terrific and all the cast gave strong performances. We wanted to buy this as a reminder of a great evening. I am always a bit wary of film "adaptations" and I found the main film set and the CCTV business a bit intrusive. The acoustics were poor at times - recommend using the DVD subtitles (which is a good idea with Shakespeare anyway). But the acting was great. Couldn't quite give it 5 stars.
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on 19 June 2015
This version was is directed by Gregory Doran and a modern dress version of Hamlet (2009) with David Tennant in the lead role. I thought it was quite a good adaptation with Tennant playing Hamlet with a mad and witty capriciousness, but arguably Patrick Stewart as Claudius gave the best performance. This dvd ran for three hours but Doran had made some brutal cuts which removed some of the most beautiful lines. However it the full text had been used the play would have run for four /five hours plus and too long in theatre performance terms.
In scene two (2.2.360) actors come to the royal court and staged a play, which made me wonder if this rather crass amateurish performance by them is what Elizabethan theatre audiences would have experienced rather than the slick productions we see today.
The bottom line is this dvd is well worth seeing if you get a chance.
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on 17 February 2015
The eye soon adjusts to this modern dress presentation of this production of Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company and it worked very well. The topline cast gave a very good performance. It was refreshing to be able to understand every word that David Tennant spoke in his RP English instead of his usual muttered Scottish brogue. Recommended.
One person found this helpful
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on 9 November 2012
DVD was excellent with an additional featurette about making the 'film', and watching the play it was easy to see that Patrick Stewart was wasted(although popular) on Star Trek. He is a real character actor, and David Tennant as Hamlet, made the story and the language easy to understand, how he expressed himself. If you are frightened by Shakespeare, give this a try!Its accessible and although depicted in the 20th century, enables you to have empathy with these previously complicated unknown characters.
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on 30 January 2010
I'm not a great lover of Shakespeare, finding iambic pentameter too much to struggle with, but as the speeches and phrases are so well known they are in public usage, I decided to give it a go. I wasn't convinced either that David Tennant was capable of much greater emotion than manic or comedy. I was proved wrong because this is a superb presentation all round, a great credit to all the actors, particularly Patric Stewart and Penny Downie, but David Tennant is a phenomenon. It doesn't matter if the audience doesn't understand the language of Shakespeare, because David Tennant's eyes tell the story probably better than the words. A Laurence Olivier for this century perhaps.
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on 11 December 2010
This is an excellent production, with superb performance from all the actors, and a highly experienced director who certanly knows his Shakespeare well. It is so refreshing to find many new interpretations of the actual play in small details,to name a few, like Claudius being prompted by Gertrude about Wittenberg, Polonius, sotte voce, prompting Laertes to talk to the King, Hamlet's reflection on the cracked mirror, the gravedigger checking his watch during the funeral,etc. Some lines from the play were very discretely omitted, rather than omitting certain scenes to make the film more acceptable for modern audieces who are not used to sitting for the three and a half hours of the original play. The characters are more human creatures than they are in most productions, therefore one can relate to them better. Hamlet is no longer the Prince with "the courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword" but a young man in excruciating pain; Claudius is not just "the smiling villain" but also the man carrying the burden of his sin, and with a shrug resigning to his fate; Gertrude is not a feather brained woman manipuated by Claudius but a woman in her own right; Polonius, though the revered councillor of state, is an interfering, pompous and " a foolish prattling knave". Ophilia is no longer the traditional "nymph" but has come out straight from Shakespeare's Sonnet #130, "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun". The film follows Arthur Miller's views about the tragedy of the common man, and presents all the characters as one of us. However, if you are a traditional Hamlet lover, this film may not be for you.
6 people found this helpful
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on 5 January 2016
It's all been said but I was particularly impressed with Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius. Engaging, amusing with fluid delivery. He gets my biscuit, but the others were top marks too. Pity is wasn't set in medieval times but hey ho...
One person found this helpful
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on 15 May 2014
We bought this because my daughter is studying Shakespeare at school. I was a bit wary at first as I don't normally like modern dress versions, but I purchased it because we are fans of Patrick Stewart and David Tennant and we weren't dissappointed! Great performances and held our attention from start to finish. Would recommend, especially if you are fans of any of the stars.
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on 2 December 2015
Saw this when it was broadcast. Tennant is mesmerising. Ordered it Saturday November 28th. It arrived Monday November 30th. Laster that evening I went to see the streamed production at the local cinema starring Benmedict Cumberbatch. A good day
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on 18 November 2013
I studied English lit so I am familiar with Shakespear - but I have always had problems making sense of certain speeches. This Hamlet has proved to be very accessible, partly because of its unhurried actors. They allowed me to understand some of those meanings just by the way the actors spoke the lines. Fantastic acting on the part of the cast and David Tennant gives Hamlet a depth I miss in other productions - and I know quite a few of the 'great' performances available on tape. I like how unhysteric and 'undramatic' much of the performance comes along. I think the play has been appropriately 'modernised' without doing it violence. Definitely a re-watch.
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