The directorsinterpretations make each Hamlet production different. Unique differences makeeach Hamlet interesting. When I watch a production of Hamlet I find myselflooking at the dialogue. I try to remember how Shakespeare wrote it and thencompare it to how the actors are performing it.
The dialogue in Hamlet is keyand the success of a production depends on having it performed successfully. Inthe Mel Gibson production they add a lot to the dialogue especially in thebeginning. The film begins at the funeral of King Hamlet rather than on thewatch with Marcellus and Bernardo. The Mel Gibson version also takes a lot ofdialogue out of Hamlet including the whole idea of Fortinbras. He is not in the1990 production so that it is shorter. As for the 1964 version where AnthonyHopkins plays Claudius, the dialogue is almost exactly the way Shakespeare wroteit.
In the Laurence Olivier version the dialogue is very near the original. Theproduction is artistically narrated rather than all being said aloud. I thinkthis production was very interesting and provides more explanation of Hamlet asyou hear some of his great speeches as his thoughts rather than speech. The 1948and the 1964 production were very near the actual dialogue while the 1990version with Gibson had several differences. All three were very good but thedialogue in the Laurence Olivier production was much better. Character portrayalcan make one Hamlet production better than another.
In the Mel Gibson version ofHamlet Laertes seems like he is weak. The actor playing him did not have acommanding presence and he had a soft voice. However, the Laertes in the 1964production was strong and kept a demeanor that commanded respect. The Laertes inthe early production in 1948 was not all that prominent in the first scenes butat 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 performedit marvelously. I did enjoy the Hamlet Mel Gibson played well because when heinsults the king the insults seem more pronounced and easy to understand. MelGibsons played the insane part of Hamlet well too. I think this is the bestpart of his character. His face and understanding of the text made it seem morerealistic than when I read it. The Hamlet in the 1964 production was plain; hedid not have any uniqueness but did play the part well.
All three Poloniuses inthese productions played well as they supported the role of the king. ThePolonius in the Gibson version though did an extremely good performance. Hispronunciation of the text and his facial expression as well as his body languagewas absolutely marvelous. By far Glenn Close played the best queen she playedthe innocent part well. She was playful at the beginning and her characterdegenerated 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 filmswere great. The cast of Gibson was grand and Oliviers cast was good as well,but the cast in which Anthony Hopkins played in 1964 was the best. They fittogether well and complimented each other. The character portrayal in Gibsonsversion was fun while the portrayal of characters in the Laurence Olivierproduction was great. All three productions were very enjoyable though. Whenmaking a movie out of a play the director has to worry about keeping itenjoyable for the audience, therefore he might want to make it shorter.
TheGibson version is obvious of this as it starts with a scene Shakespeare neverwrote. It started with the funeral of the dead king. They also added a marriagecelebration scene. These two scenes help people who have not studied the text tounderstand what has happened in the play. To put these two scenes in they tookout Act 1 Scene 1 from the original text. The Gibson version also took out muchof the middle scenes but it still was enjoyable.
The Laurence Olivier versionused narration to make the scene seem like he was thinking and we could hear histhoughts. It allowed him to use his face to express a whole lot more since hewas not talking as the speeches were read. The 1964 version kept pretty close tothe scenes but changed a little. The ghost scenes did not actually show a ghost,not even when Hamlet met with it.
They shined a light on the faces of the actorsto make it seem like a ghost had shown up of camera. It was artistic, but Iprefer to see the ghost. The scene changes in all three were good and did notchange the play enough to be something other than Shakespeares Hamlet. Allthree version of Hamlet that I watched were interesting. Overall I enjoyed theMel Gibson version the best.
It had the best sets; it was a castle. One of myfavorite actors is Mel Gibson so I was anxious to see how well he would do asHamlet. The costumes in the play were very nice and were used as and artistictool to show that Hamlet was mad. The queen was excellent and very enjoyable towatch. I like this Polonius best of all because he seemed so concerned withstanding in the court that he showed little care for his Ophelia. The Hamletthat Laurence Olivier played was excellent to the end.
When I read the book Iimagined Hamlet being just like he played him. The use of dark scenery in thisversion did well to express the depressing mood of Hamlet and the entire stateof Denmark. The character interaction was great, as it was less obvious in thisversion that they were scripted lines. These old fashion actors produced a goodold fashion quality. The 1964 version was decent. I liked how loud and it seemedalmost boisterous Anthony Hopkins played Cluadius.
It used the same dark effectsthat the 1948 production used, but it was also in color; that is always a goodthing. A lot was different in the forty year that was between the productions ofthese Hamlets. They were enjoyable and showed me how Hamlet can be interpreteddifferently.