Hamlet Essay by The Research Group

Critical analysis of how Kenneth Branagh's 1996 filmed version of the Shakespearean tragedy fails. Visual strategy as not serving the drama.
# 10642 | 1,125 words | 3 sources | 2001 | US
Published on May 14, 2003 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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From the Paper:

"Kenneth Branagh's film of Shakespeare's Hamlet is remarkable for the use of the entire, uncut text of the play and for its elaborate design. Despite the director's commitment to the full text, however, he shows an even more remarkable lack of faith in the power of the language and acting and, in fact, visually supplements the text at certain points in ways that underline his uneasiness with leaving anything unshown. The visual strategy devised for this film is revealed in many places to be based on reasonable considerations of how the look of the piece can enhance its meanings. But even when the best intentions govern the choices the film fails in almost every respect because the production design, costumes, and art direction seem to be there for their own sake rather than to serve the drama."

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