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Comparison of Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh's Versions of Hamlet

Good Essays
Comparison of Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh's Versions of Hamlet

Modern day directors use a variety of methods to hold ones interest. Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh’s created versions of Hamlet that shared some similarities, but ultimately had many differences in respects to an audience’s appeal. An appealing movie is one that has an alluring ambiance and an intellectual stimulus. With these two movie versions, a setting and a mood forced an audience to acquire specific emotions, but Ethan Hawke’s version generated emotions more strongly and effectively. Also, these movies had extremely different uses of music and visuals, but both movie versions incorporated them well for the ambiance it tried to obtain. Finally, both movie versions drew characters to captivate the audience; however in Ethan Hawke’s version, the characters were used so effectively that it was easy to feel involved with them. While both these versions of Hamlet had a captivating ambiance, Ethan Hawke’s version was more appealing due to the intellectual incentive that it offered.

Setting and mood are methods of direction that can change a film’s ambiance and bring on an adundance of intelligent thoughts. Hawke and Branagh both reproduced Hamlet with a setting and mood that were both appealing for an audience. For instance, Hawke created a film much unlike Shakespeare’s play with a modern day setting. At the start of the film, the mood was set using modern visuals and melodies. Then a soliloquy of Hamlet was seen stating his troubling inner emotions. These scenes created a mood of youth and despair which eventually would become very effective in the plot of the film and the development of Hamlet’s character. Branagh’s version created a setting and a mood similar to Shakespeare’s original play. The beginning of the play opened with two guards waiting for the appearance of a ghost. Traditional music and dark visuals like a statue of Hamlet’s father created a mood of darkness and anxiety. This gave the film suspense which was much needed for the story. Clearly, both directors used the setting and the mood to play with particular emotions of the audience. However, Hawke was more creative in his methods and he created a non-traditional setting and mood that related more to a modern day audience. For example, Hawke focused on the mood by choosing camera shots during Hamlet’s soliloquy that...

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...ter development was sophisticated and artisitic. In this version, the audience was absorbed with Hamlet’s character. This introduced a variety of thought and reflection making the film more appealing to a widespread audience.

Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh recreated Shakespeare’s Hamlet with an alluring ambiance, however Ethan Hawke’s version was more appealing to an audience due to the stimulation of intelligent reflection. The setting and the mood in each of these versions played with the audience’s emotions, but Ethan Hawke’s version brought on stronger ones. Secondly, Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh used different choices of music and visuals that were equally effective in creating the ambiance the directors wished to obtain. As well, both movie versions created characters that tried to influence an audience; but, Ethan Hawke’s version introduced its main character so effectively that an audience was captivated by him. These two movie versions had some similarities, but Ethan Hawke’s different style produced a more appealing film. In the end, it was interesting to view the ways in which a director can try to make an old story more appealing to a modern day audience.