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Hamlet Movie Comparison

1996 Kenneth Branagh vs. 2009 David Tennant

Hannah Friedman

on 17 June 2014

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Transcript of Hamlet Movie Comparison

Character Development
Major Theme:

Hamlet's Relationships with Women
Act 4 Scene IV
Ghost of King Hamlet
Their Insanity:
jeans and t-shirts, barefoot (representative of insanity)
tongue-in-cheek, resentful, biting sneers at Claudius
young, playful, childish
possibly mad from the very beginning
boyish love for his father - still intimidated by him
Sources of Deception
Hamlet, King Claudius, and Polonius are the three central sources of deception in the story. Their actions and decisions dictate the responses of the other characters and generate a sense of overall confusion and unrest.
Role of Major Theme
As a revenge play, Hamlet uses
and as methods of generating conflict both within the plot and among the characters.
In the text, Hamlet creates his antic disposition for the sole purpose of drawing the truth out of Claudius; however it in turn affects his relationships with several of his family members and friends.
King Claudius
Claudius uses deception by creating an outward persona that masks his inner rage-driven intentions.
Polonius orchestrates a variety of secret arrangements and schemes in order to uncover secrets and gain more knowledge on the situation.
a polite lady of the court
very close with Polonius and Laertes - familial bonds
a far more central character in the plot and the other character's lives
older, more mature
having a passionate love affair with Hamlet
much more modern - notice pants
we do not get to see a strong relationship between her and her father
not present in Royal court scenes - not as central
whiny teenager
flirtationship with Hamlet
angry, hostile, rash
violent, pugnacious
older, more mature, calculating
we see him slip slowly into madness
a deep love for his father is a constant - grown man
seems to be jealous of Claudius - over crown or love?
Act III, Scene I
VERY emotional
weepy, hurt, scared
teary - complicated crush
heartbroken - lost love
strait jacket - violently mad
insanity due to LOVE (cut with love scenes with Hamlet)
singing - sweet, distant
insanity due to grief over death of Polonius
confused because we did not see her relationship with her father
singing - silly, frantic
scary, haunting, spooky
rhaspy whisper
intimidating, menacing, rathful
more spiteful towards Claudius
heartbroken over the loss of Gertrude
HUMAN-like, walks on the ground
(played by the man who plays Claudius)
added an extra monlogue when Hamlet is chasing the ghost through the woodsSUPER dramatic
cut with scenes of
the romance between Claudius and Gertrude - long term affair?
the murder
focus on the eyes, the mouth, the profile
crack in ground spewing smoke
in the courtyard
ground is steamy
Where's Fortinbras?
Kenneth Branagh Version
David Tennant Version
Comparing/Contrasting the Performance of the Soliloquy
Body Language
more sympathetic, compassionate
seems to really want to be like a father to Hamlet
a businessman by nature - polite, formal, poised
pretentious, condescending
fake sorrow, rubs it in Hamlet's face
very kingly, royal
rude and insulting to Hamlet
must uphold apperances for the large congregation
Musical Background
Act I, Scene II
1996 Hamlet
2009 HamLet
Sharp Contrasts between serious and dark scenes
More Regal Attire
Multiple Cameras
Darker Tones
More Modern Attire
Single Camera Set-up
Employment of Securiy Cameras
unmanly, frail, crying
disguisted, confused
frustrated, sad
angry, defeated, crushed
angrier at his mother
Antic Disposition
1996 Hamlet
2009 Hamlet
1996 Hamlet Wedding Banquet
2009 Wedding Banquet
Kenneth Branagh
David Tennant
2009 Hamlet Fencing Scene
Stayed true to the play
Soliloquy was word-for-word
1996 Hamlet Fencing Scene
angry, violent
insanity explained when we see his reaction to his father's ghost
scheming, contriving, manipulative
consistent throughout his speeches
Significantly shorter in length
Skipped lines 34-43 and 53-65
More abrupt and seemed rushed
psychotic without explenation
mood swings
seems afraid of his own insanity
does not seem to be an act
comes in outbursts
Act III, Scene II
Kenneth Branagh
David Tennant
The scene itself in the 2009 movie was much more informal and comedic. The players were bumbling fools in drag. Hamlet hops around the room with a video camera capturing the play and the royal reactions:
Snowy expanse
In the back is Fortinbras' army
Also in snowy area
Fortinbras' army not present
Area is significantly darker
Kenneth Branagh
David Tennant
Act 1
Act 3 Scene i
Act 3
Act 5
Soliloquy is a "vlog" by Hamlet
Breaks the "Fourth Wall"
But unlike other cameras in film, Hamlet's isn't sleek or black/white but rather old and rickety
Hamlet's "vlog" serves as an act of rebellion towards Claudius
Camera angle is stagnant
with gertrude
looks disinterested, holds back any emotion
remains composed and walks out after the renacted murder
Hamlet is not speaking directly to a camera
Film shot slowly zooms out as Hamlet's soliloquy becomes more dramatic/intense
seems to be truly in love during marriage scene
she is clearly his inferior, does not treat her very kidnly
happy together - cutwith flashbacks of their romance - possibly an affair
protective, maternal - sensitive to Hamlet's opinion
seems to support the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia
mourns King Hamlet, looks to the future for happiness for the whole family
Hamlet disappointed with his mother
Sexually suggestive body language by Gertrude
David Tennant
more like a convenient marriage - formal
show a compassion for eachother - more like sister-in-law
Kenneth Branagh
(after the death of Polonius)
angry with Gertrude
ready to kill Hamlet himself
resonable, pragmatic
sympathetic and comforting towards Gertrude
upset that he must punish Hamlet - requests that he is given some mercy
Has score that contributes to Hamlet's confident demeanor
Orchestra crescendo makes soliloquy much more dramatic and intense
seems to fear Hamlet and what he might do with the knowllege his has presented
stands up out of anger before realizing his audience and collecting himself
Much like the rest of the film, there is no background music
Only Hamlet's dialogue
Kenneth Branagh
David Tennant
A lot more movement
Standing up
Hand motions are used
Hamlet moves his eyes and head whilst conveying his anger
Almost no body language
Very stagnant
Sitting down
One hand on camera
Only motion is with his eyes and head
Long pauses present
very happy with Claudius
subject to a lot of abuse from both Hamlet and Claudius
feels she must agree with Cludius - cannot show sympathy for her son
yearns for Hamlet's approval
Claudius and Gertrude's Death
Gertude seems to know that the drink is poisioned - perhaps sacraficing herself for Hamlet - maternal instincts
Claudius willingly drinks the poison - perhaps because he truly loved Gertrude and wished to be with her - dies and falls next to her
every man for himself
Claudius yells at Gertrude to not drink but she seems oblivious to the poison
we see no pain from Claudius over the death of Gertrude
more severity in his portrayal of antic disposition
induces fear out of other characters
manages to scare them into giving him more information
insanity occurred in spontaneous outbursts
instead of inducing fear, induces sketicism and confusion
Oedipus Complex
seemingly warm and affectionate when surrounded by other people in the palace in 1996
remained cold and calculated from beginning to end in 2009
Pyschological Complex describing a son's attraction to his mother
Scene shows romance between
much more serious and cunning on the exterior in 1996, people took him more seriously
more outrageous and scatterbrained in 2009, allowed other characters to undermine his intelligence

sexual relations between
Hamlet and Ophelia

Hamlet calls his mother childishly
Hamlet's strong physical assertion with his mother
Suddenly turns from this physical assualt to loving scene
Kenneth Branagh
David Tennant
Confident, Melodramatic, Empowering
Musical Score
More Movement
Dressed more polished
Resonating voice
Ophelia and Hamlet have a different type of relationship than in 2009
It is less playful, more serious
Don't see the loving relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude that we see in the 2009
Ophelia and Hamlet have a very playful relationship
Is not sexual like in Hamlet 1996
Angry, Vengeful, Bitter
Lots of pausing
Hesitance is apparent
Minimal Body Language
Intensity in his hushed whisper - almost trying to keep his rage contained
Spitting his words out
In both, Hamlet shows extreme passion for Ophelia, although in the 2009 movie, it is slightly less realistic due to the nature of his relationship with Ophelia in the movie (less serious)
It implies that Ophelia is more part of the antic disposition in the 2009 film
Gertrude seems to know that the drink is posisioned. She is willing to kill herself for her sun -- the ultimate demonstration of love
Hamlet and Laertes are passionately fighting. Hamlet's true feelings toward Ophelia
Gertrude is congratulatory but she concentrates more on the audience, while in the 2009 movie she focuses in on Hamlet (possibly a symptom of their romance)
The Importance of Mirrors
Hamlet is extremely forceful with both Ophelia and Gertrude
This is more believable because of the nature of their relatioship
They kiss
Hamlet is again physically assertive
He continually yells and attempts to direct Ophelia's attention and thoughts
Less believable beacuse there is little attraction between the two (thus switched around)
They do not kiss
Full transcript