Kenneth Branagh vs Mel Gibson : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

i've got to answer a question for my englsih paper and decide which film production that i'm most familiar with (Kenneth Branagh vs Mel Gibson) and decide which one is closest to the Shakespearian interpretation of Hamlet, and which one is closest to my understanding of Hamlet! can anybody help, cuz all my idea's seem to perfectly match the Kenneth Branagh's version and i need something that Mel Gibson has as well

-- Lynz Palmer (, April 29, 2003


Why? Can't you make an argument that you think Mel Gibson's is off the mark, because of the ways it doesn't agree with your understanding of the play and what you think WS meant with the play? Basically you'd just be contrasting the two films, saying you agree with this film's interpretation because ... , and you don't agree with that film's interpretation because ... . And if you do find something in the Branagh one you don't agree with, you can still talk about that, without it taking away from your general conclusion that you think Branagh's is closer to the mark.

-- catherine england (, April 30, 2003.

Ha Ha HA!!!! This is an A-Level Answer, u cant just do that! What are u playing at. thats good advice...........if u wanna fail-just analyse, i know u Lynz u Can do It........and if not get Ant to do it for u!

-- James (, April 30, 2003.

Do I think I understand that properly? ... No.

Actually, I did something very similar with HENRY V and the HENRY V's - for university. Got a high distinction there. ... It's all in the quality and the depth.

-- catherine england (, April 30, 2003.

Well, the Gibson version is costumed/staged much further in the past than the Branagh version, so maybe it meets some people's ideas of what Shakespeare plays are *supposed* to look like (i.e. people in tights poncing about the place making faces and being generally weird for no apparent reason).

Of course, the Branagh version gets rid of that so that you are seeing *people* rather than *characters*. But that's just me. I think that the Gibson version was a criminal perversion of the Bard's work (not that I have any strong feelings on the matter, mind you).

-- Casey (, May 02, 2003.

But you have to admit to some lovely "nuances" and fine touches in his performance, from good old Mel. (Which was flawed more than anything because of that fucking twat Franco Zefferelli - this is the man that stole Jesus Of Nazareth from Ingmar Bergman and made it into a sunday school picture book movie!) I just love the moment that he wipes his beard with the cloth just before his "Man delights not me" speech. And his grabbing Ophelia's face in one hand during "I have heard of your paintings too, well enough..." And his "I am too much i'the sun", played quite literally - ha. But at the end of the day, it wasn't too good and Branagh's also had it faults. His performance, like anyone's, is not definitive. There are aspects to Branagh's that I think are "wrong" or that I don't like or agree with. I think I'll start a thread about Olivier's version...

-- Patrick Walker (, May 04, 2003.

Hamlet is a tradgedy, a dark and deep tradgedy. kenneth's version of hamlet does not emphasis the darkness of such a tradgedy with it's more modern version. Not only does the mood not sustained, but the staging is, well, to bright for such a dismal mood. However, the grave scene is more apropiate and is more accurate in scripture. Mel gribson is an accurate hamlet, his solemnity is believable and he sustains the dark mood throughout the entire film while branagh chops and changes.

-- sam schraag (, September 09, 2003.

Yes, it's a tragedy, but I don't think that means that the whole performance must sustain only one mood. There is a lot of comedy in the play, and moments of exultation and the like. Really it's a story of normal humans in a normal setting living through some abnormal circumstances. It can still have many of the facets and moods and surroundings of normal human existence.

-- catherine england (, September 09, 2003.

And do not forget the idea of the three characters within one. The prince - noble, god fearing, and unsure of his actions. The Prince is almost what Hamlet was whilst his father was still alive. The malcontent, who is sorrowful, depressed, dark. In this character is perhaps an exgageration of Hamlet's feelings. And finally the revenger, unshakable, determined, frightfully vengeful. In this is the action of Hamlet, but the conflicting characters all clash with each other. Then we also have the antic disposition, and perhaps, as catherine said, the humour of the play. Here, perhaps all three characters combine within the actor, the fool, that Hamlet portrays. It is here that the cynisim of the malcontent, the passion of the revenger and the wit and intelligence of the prince combine to make fun at the ignorance about him. WIthin this is the 'darkness' of the play is merely by stalled, but to truely express the cleverness of Hamlet the three characters, and Hamlet the acting fool, that this 'darkness' for a moment must evaporate.

Just a few thoughts

Take care


-- Rachel Hatton (, September 14, 2003.

I could make neither head nor tail of the last part of that, my dear.

-- Patrick Walker (, September 15, 2003.

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