Fifth about The Seventh

Hamlet (1996)

Hamlet: there isn’t any need to spend time writing about Shakespeare’s play; nevertheless, I will. A wonderful, sorrowful tale that is both grand and intimate; its rich characters cover a wide spectrum of human nature and interact quite beautifully; most famously, however, the speeches and lines are pure poetry, a pleasure to listen to (even if their meaning is not completely grasped at times).

The cast is, of course, a crucial element (perhaps here more than most times, as a good delivery for dialogue such as this is key) and there are two sides for this: the main roles (Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Derek Jacobi, Richard Briers, Nicholas Farrell and of course, Kenneth Branagh) are all wonderful; some choices for minor characters (Robin Williams comes to mind), more a distraction than anything else.

The film is wonderfully produced, with costumes and settings great to look at. Most crucially, however, the cinematography: the use of lengthy, continuous shots is an embarrassment of riches. Respecting the pace of a speech without cutting away from the performers is the right thing to do, but sometimes the camera is too lively, therefore diverting. The shots are wonderful (my bias is well-documented in this regard), but the complex combination of the dialogues, acting, blocking and camera movement becomes overwhelming.

The whole experience is so, actually, especially in the full version. It is, nevertheless, wonderful.


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