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Hamlet (1990) Film Adaptation Analysis

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by

Suweatha Indramohan

on 28 October 2015

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Transcript of Hamlet (1990) Film Adaptation Analysis

Claudius
Horatio
Ophelia
Parallelism
Fortinbras & Hamlet
Madness
Background
Director:
Franco Zeffirelli
Actors:
Mel Gibson (Hamlet), Glenn Close (Gertrude), Alan Bates (Claudius), Helena Carter (Ophelia)
Budget:
$18 million
Box Office:
$20.7 million
Hamlet (1990)
Film Adaptation Analysis

Greater focus on "physicality" of
Hamlet
Film Techniques
Camera Angles - Low angle
makes subject look larger than normal, creates a more threatening image

Camera Movement - rocky, unstable
adds to rough atmosphere

Cross-cutting and Shot-Reverse-Shot
creates tension, makes the scene more fast-paced
Extract from Act V, Scene ii
Character Analysis
Gertrude
Hamlet
Directorial Techniques
Major Themes
Hamlet (1990)
Sex Sells!
OPHELIA
The king rises.
HAMLET
What, frighted with false fire!
QUEEN GERTRUDE
How fares my lord?
LORD POLONIUS
Give o'er the play.
KING CLAUDIUS
Give me some light: away!
All
Lights, lights, lights!
Act 3 Scene 2
1:45- 2:00
--> Gertrude is potrayed to be very sensual and youthful
--> Zeffereli focuses on the mother-son relationship
2:40
create audience appeal
shows us some new things about the Queen's character
how she reacts to danger/abuse (sexual affection)
seeking pity(manipulative)/desperate
Zeffirelli uses film techniques to emphasize the action in the play; in doing so, he sacrifices the cerebral aspect
This is done to keep audience engaged, make plot more interesting
Movie Hamlet is present at the wake at the beginning of the play whereas Play Hamlet is not at the funeral
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!
(III.iv.91-94)
Refering to Gertrude and Claudius in the play but words are acted out in the movie
Director decided to play up Hamlet's angry and "crazy" side rather than his depressed and suicidal side
Only last few lines of the soliloquy are said
Hamlet's frustration towards himself with his action regarding his father's murder is removed
Major aspect of Hamlet's character in the play is removed
"How all occasions do inform against me,/And spur my dull revenge." (IV.v.32-66) Soliloquy is removed
Soliloquy again showed Hamlet's self-hatred due to his inaction after his encounter with Fortinbras; entire subplot removed
Character is developed differently in the movie than the play
Movie Hamlet= angry, crazy/Play Hamlet= depressed, self-hating, suicidal
2:16
Full transcript