Master Director Franco Zeffirelli (Taming Of The Shrew, Romeo & Juliet) brings Shakespeare's classic story of ultimate revenge to the screen in Hamlet.
Mel Gibson stars as the tortured Prince battling with his sanity and his conscience to avenge his father's death. Hamlet returns to Denmark when his father, the king dies. His mother Gertrude (Glenn Close) has already married Hamlet's uncle Claudius, the new King. They urge Hamlet to marry his beloved Ophelia. But soon the ghost of Hamlet's father appears and tells Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius and Gertrude. Hamlet must choose between passive acquiescence and the need for a vengeance which might lead to tragedy.
Saw this version of "Hamlet" in high school while studying it. I didn't like it much and it wasn't very popular in the class, people were quite critical of it. It cut a lot out, I know that had to be done for time constraint reasons, but it was still disappointing. Mel Gibson was okay in his soliloquies etc. but I think a lot of people couldn't really picture him as Hamlet, me included. So I wasn't a big fan of this but it's not too bad.
I am a fan of Shakespeare and always keen to see new cinematic interpretations of his plays. Gibson is actually a fairly decent Hamlet - a lot better than I thought he would be. Close is okay as Gertrude and the late Alan Bates puts in a great performance as Claudius (but it is a great part). The film itself is well done, but the best Hamlet on film is still Kenneth Branagh's version. If you can't sit through four hours of that, then try this shorter version.
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