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"Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet" This Tells The Audience Whether It Would Be Worthwhile To Watch This Film When There Are So Many Different Versions Available

739 words - 3 pages

In this much-simplified version of William Shakespeare's renowned play, "Hamlet", Zeffirelli has provided audiences with a rather accessible filmed version. Not only has he trimmed the play's dialogue down, soliloquies are almost non-existent. Although this means that it is more accessible to audiences who may not be familiar with the Bard's play, it downplays the play's passionate and tragic tone.Mel Gibson as Hamlet is a believable actor. The audience feels the Prince's sorrow at losing his father and is led to sympathize with him. However, Gibson's eyes seem to wander a bit too much, lending a comic quality to the otherwise somber role. He is entertaining, and plays the role with more ...view middle of the document...

Though appearing very shortly, Paul Scofield leaves a lasting impression on audiences as a weary ghost informing his distraught son the truth behind his death. Helena Bonham-Carter is a sulky Ophelia, and is shown to be a far stronger character than other versions of the film have interpreted. Gone is the usual pathetic and submissive Ophelia, in her place, Bonham-Carter has created a stubborn and strangely depressing character. The actress played the madness of the role well, and the audience feels a chill as Ophelia hands chicken bones to the king and queen instead of flowers.By shuffling several scenes, cutting out almost half the dialogue, and adding scenes that were not in the original play, Zeffirelli seems intent on capturing a commercial audience. The director shows the funeral of the late king at the beginning of the film, a new addition that gave audiences who had never read the play a visual introduction to the reason for Hamlet's distress. Similar to this is the addition of a visual of Ophelia being swept down the stream. However,...

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