Comparing the Opening Sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's Film Versions of Hamlet

Comparing the Opening Sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's Film Versions of Hamlet

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Comparing the Opening Sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's Film Versions of Hamlet

So exactly why is it that Hamlet is still so popular with our modern
day audiences when it was written for the naïve audiences of the 17th
century? Personally I believe this is because Hamlet deals with many
fresh issues including corruption, love and the supernatural, which
still appeal to contemporary audiences. These issues are also present
in many films made recently e.g. 'The Exorcist,' 'The Others' and
'Sixth Sense' all these films are also popular. Shakespeare's Hamlet
is a play filled with revenge, ambition and faithlessness. It was
written in the 17th century though Shakespeare set it long before his
own time. Hamlet is significant as the first of Shakespeare's four
great tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. People are
still entertained by ordinary passions and ambitions with which a
modern day audience can still identify and relate to. Hamlet is
Shakespeare's longest play due to the fact that it has to deal with
the complex and complicated moral dilemma the viewers find Hamlet
facing, whether to avenge the death of his father or not. There are
many interpretations of Shakespeare's Hamlet, some say the Lion King
is based on Hamlet and though there may not be a direct and obvious
link there are many similarities, like the murder of the king for the
uncle to take the throne. I've looked at two very diverse directors,
who both interpret Hamlet's issues and moral dilemmas very
differently. I have focused on Kenneth Branagh's and Franco
Zeffirelli's versions of the play and analysed the obvious and hidden
differences....


... middle of paper ...


...ne into making everything perfect, the only thing I thought
spoilt it was one of the guard's American accent with was very out of
place. My favourite part of Zeffirelli's opening was when Gertrude
removed the flower from her hair kissed it and laid it on her deceased
husband's coffin. I could see a lot of thought had gone into these few
seconds and everything from her facial expressions to her discrete
movements were carefully planned out. After finishing this essay I
have found myself carefully analysing all films I watch, however
annoying for the people I'm watching it with, and I have realised how
important the few opening seconds of a film really are. Whether a
director uses them to create atmosphere or to introduce characters,
they make all the difference of capturing the viewer's attention or it
being turned off.

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