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Teen Movie Critic

Hamlet (1996)


Roger Davidson

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Before Kenneth Branagh's recent heavily hyped adaptation, there was this heavily hyped one with Mel Gibson in the title role. The melancholy Dane is still angry at his uncle, King Claudius (Alan Bates), for killing his father, angry at his mother Gertrude (Glenn Close) for marrying his father's brother and angry at just about everyone else. Except perhaps Ophelia (Helena Bonham Carter), who kills herself when she believes Gibson has ultimately rejected her.

Despite all the hype that surrounded it at the time, it's actually a pretty fair adaptation of the tragic play. Bates and Carter give the best performances in the film, though Gibson pulls off the title role surprisingly well. The major miscasting of Close as Gertrude hampers the proceedings a bit, and the settings are a bit too claustrophobic to handle at times, but it stays true in many ways to the bard. It's definitely worth a look.

My Rating = Three Stars

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