Hamlet Review

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Something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark. When the ghost of Prince Hamlet's father appears to him claiming to have been murdered (by Hamlet's uncle, no less), he doubts his sanity, and puts in motion a plan to determine the guilt of the accused - who is now married to his mother, and has taken the throne.


Kevin Kline staged and stars in this filmed-for-TV version of Hamlet, originally part of 1990's New York Shakespeare Festival. Staying true to the text, Kline - then 42 - makes a fair stab at what is a complex and multi-faceted character, opting wisely to focus more on his sense of wit and bitter irony rather than the tortured angst of callow youth. Standouts from the supporting cast are Dana Ivey as Gertrude and Diane Venora (who went to on to play Gloria Capulet in Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet) as Ophelia.

Be warned, though: this is a filmed play, not a film, and proceedings are at times overly theatrical, whilst at others decidedly stiff. A solidly competent, but far from blinding, interpretation.

As a glimpse into presenting theatre's most intricate character, this will be of great help. As a film in it's own right, it is considerably less so.