Shakespeare's Hamlet has been adopted to the screen many times, each with its own interpretation of the dialogue. The directors Kenneth Branagh and Michael Almereyda both bring the words of Shakespeare to life with vivid and original settings, costumes, and personalities. Of course they both attempt to convey different moods and tones. Branagh's on-screen version is very traditional as it is set in the 1800's and every word of Shakespeare's is included verbatim. On the other hand, Almereyda presents the world a completely modern version of the famous play complete with cell phones, laptops, guns, and your mundane company take-over!
Both use the words of Shakespeare but are strikingly distinct due to rendition of the words and the environment which provides a different feel.
The setting of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is winter and all is blue and carries a feel of eer...
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...ative sense the movie carries about.
As these movies show, the behavior, tone of voice, and clothing are really what gives presence to a film and not necessarily just the words. The words of Shakespeare, while very poetic and beautiful, are dead without the emotion of an actor. The acting of the characters in Hamlet is what gave animation to the cinematic versions of Hamlet and that clearly shows that actions can be much stronger than just mere words.
Ebert, Roger. Review of Branagh's Hamlet. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, Eight Edition. Eds. Laurence Behrens, Leanard F. Rosen. Boston: Longman. 787-790
Marshall, Alexandra. Review of Almereyda's Hamlet: The Prince is Dead, Long Live the Prince. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, Eight Edition. Eds. Laurence Behrens, Leanard F. Rosen. Boston: Longman. 829-832
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