Hamlet On TV
Hamlet has been produced in a variety of ways, but making a movie out of Hamlet is very different. When producing Hamlet on film there are some liberties that are taken for either artistic benefit or to keep it shorter. These liberties are up to the director’s interpretation of Hamlet. The director’s interpretations make each Hamlet production different. Unique differences make each Hamlet interesting. When I watch a production of Hamlet I find myself looking at the dialogue. I try to remember how Shakespeare wrote it and then compare it to how the actors are performing it. The dialogue in Hamlet is key and the success of a production depends on having it performed successfully. In the Mel Gibson production they add a lot to the dialogue especially in the beginning. The film begins at the funeral of King Hamlet rather than on the watch with Marcellus and Bernardo. The Mel Gibson version also takes a lot of diialogue out of Hamlet including the whole idea of Fortinbras. He is not in the 1990 production so that it is shorter. As for the 1964 version where Anthony Hopkins plays Claudius, the dialogue is almost exactly the way Shakespeare wrote it. In
n the Laurence Olivier version the dialogue is very near the original. The production is artistically narrated rather than all being said aloud. I think this production was very interesting and provides more explanation of Hamlet as you hear some of his great speeches as his thoughts rather than speech. The 1948 and the 1964 production were very near the actual dialogue while the 1990 version with Gibson had several differences. All three were very good but the dialogue in the Laurence Olivier production was much better. Character portrayal can make one Hamlet production better than another. In the Mel Gibson version of Hamlet Laertes seems like he is weak. The actor playing him did not have a commanding presence and he had a soft voice. However, the Laertes in the 1964 production was strong and kept a demeanor that commanded respect. The Laertes in the early production in 1948 was not all that prominent in the first scenes but at the end he became a big part of the play like he should. As for Hamlet, Laurence Olivier was the best Hamlet. He caught the concept well and performed it marvelously. I did enjoy the Hamlet Mel Gibson played well because when he insults th
he king the insults seem more pronounced and easy to understand. Mel Gibson’s played the insane part of Hamlet well too. I think this is the best part of his character. His face and understanding of the text made it seem more realistic than when I read it. The Hamlet in the 1964 production was plain; he did not have any uniqueness but did play the part well. All three Poloniuses in these productions played well as they supported the role of the king. The Polonius in the Gibson version though did an extremely good performance. His pronunciation of the text and his facial expression as well as his body language was absolutely marvelous. By far Glenn Close played the best queen she played the innocent part well. She was playful at the beginning and her character degenerated to the sad ending. She did everything right; the facial expressions, the body language, the text; she did it all well. The casts of all the films were great. The cast of Gibson was grand and Olivier’s cast was good as well, but the cast in which Anthony Hopkins played in 1964 was the best. They fit together well and complimented each other. The ch
haracter portrayal in Gibson’s version was fun while the portrayal of characters in the Laurence Olivier production was great. All three productions were very enjoyable though. When making a movie out of a play the director has to worry about keeping it enjoyable for the audience, therefore he might want to make it shorter. The Gibson version is obvious of this as it starts with a scene Shakespeare never wrote. It started with the funeral of the dead king. They also added a marriage celebration scene. These two scenes help people who have not studied the text to understand what has happened in the play. To put these two scenes in they took out Act 1 Scene 1 from the original text. The Gibson version also took out much of the middle scenes but it still was enjoyable. The Laurence Olivier version used narration to make the scene seem like he was thinking and we could hear his thoughts. It allowed him to use his face to express a whole lot more since he was not talking as the speeches were read. The 1964 version kept pretty close to the scenes but changed a little. The ghost scenes did not actually show a gh
host, not even when Hamlet met with it. They shined a light on the faces of the actors to make it seem like a ghost had shown up of camera. It was artistic, but I prefer to see the ghost. The scene changes in all three were good and did not change the play enough to be something other than Shakespeare’s Hamlet. All three version of Hamlet that I watched were interesting. Overall I enjoyed the Mel Gibson version the best. It had the best sets; it was a castle. One of my favorite actors is Mel Gibson so I was anxious to see how well he would do as Hamlet. The costumes in the play were very nice and were used as and artistic tool to show that Hamlet was mad. The queen was excellent and very enjoyable to watch. I like this Polonius best of all because he seemed so concerned with standing in the court that he showed little care for his Ophelia. The Hamlet that Laurence Olivier played was excellent to the end. When I read the book I imagined Hamlet being just like he played him. The use of dark scenery in this version did well to express the depressing mood of Hamlet and the entire state of Denmark. The character interaction was great, as it was less obvious in this version that they were scripted lines. These old fashion actors produced a good old fashion quality. The 1964 version was decent. I liked how loud and it seemed almost boisterous Anthony Hopkins played Cluadius. It used the same dark effects that the 1948 production used, but it was also in color; that is always a good thing. A lot was different in the forty year that was between the productions of these Hamlets. They were enjoyable and showed me how Hamlet can be interpreted differently.