April 25, 2012
By Blaker GOLD, Portland, Maine
Blaker GOLD, Portland, Maine
15 articles 9 photos 38 comments

The adapted film, directed by Gregory Doran based on the Shakespearean play Hamlet was a refreshing and innovative portrayal of the tragedy. With few changes to the original script, Doran put a contemporary and divergent spin on the classic that branched beyond the indigenous theatrical narrative of the play. With the use of the suspicion of surveillance and a talented cast to portray these elements, the movie proved to be a success. Throughout the film David Tennant, as the mourning Hamlet provided the audience with a performance that captured viewers through both his amusement and angst. Whereas, the acclaimed Patrick Stewart required viewers to put on an extra sweater, courtesy of his bone chilling stare and his superior stature as the King’s murderer and brother, Claudius.

With the use of surveillance cameras as the view into the lives of Danish royalty, the film took on an exaggerated fear and recognition of paranoia and the consciousness of being watched. For the duration of the film, as the surveillance cameras carried you through the castle, the smart and witty Hamlet was the only one who seemed to notice. Hamlet had more than one fit of wrenching these imposing cameras from their perches along the walls. His awareness of the constant supervision proved his slight mania and his difference from the rest of his family, it stressed that defiance in Elsinore will not go unseen. Along with the cameras, are the continually present guards, who seem to have more of a purpose of spying for the new King, Claudius than they do protecting the inhabitants of the castle. Although these cameras and guards emphasize observation and the element of fear ever present in Hamlet they also arise the question of who is doing the watching. Is it the King? Or perhaps there is someone else, a higher power.

With an acclaimed cast, Hamlet did not lack in talent. The actors portrayed their roles with dignity and dexterity suited for the characters diligently created by William Shakespeare. Tears and laughter were not absent, and the emotion depicted during the film was both thrilling and heart wrenching. As the film opened, and the introduction of Claudius commenced I had mixed feelings. This man appeared more like a grandfather than that of a murderer, until of course, he unveiled his bone chilling stare and those cold eyes. That veneer of good nature was the highlight of the movie, as this man who looked as if he would willingly curl up beside the fireplace and read stories removed his disguise and replaced it with eyes like daggers. That facade of benevolent action was a superb interpretation of the false pretenses exhibited in the play, as these characters interacted, the mother of a child marrying his dead father’s brother for example, hosts many emotions and in the movie these actions are portrayed with ability and discipline.

Originally portrayed as a stage production, the film representation of Hamlet demonstrated dramatic portrayals of the characters, their esteemed talents branching through the production. Gregory Doran’s delineation of the drama was a contrasting performance that although closely followed the script, managed to possess an originality of its own. Throughout the movie, as the surveillance cameras put a new and improved spin on the magnified fearfulness and constant inspection of Hamlet the modernity gave the drama an ingenuity that established the film and provided the backbone of the interpretation.

The author's comments:
An analysis of Hamlet, the movie; directed by Gregory Doran

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 27 2013 at 1:02 am
SHER_locked PLATINUM, Alta Loma, California
32 articles 2 photos 51 comments
I absolutely love this version of Hamlet; it's the best I've seen. David Tennant is just perfect in the role. Too bad they got the wrong picture to go with your article...


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!