April 10, 2003

Viewer Discretion Advised

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In honor of the upcoming Center for Theater Arts production of Hamlet, it is only fitting that three cinematic interpretations of this Shakespearean masterpiece get a bit of recognition. It seems as though every actor with one iota of narcissism thinks he should take on the role of the whiney Prince of Denmark. Everyone does their own version every couple of years, and people see the movie and some even pretend that they are interested in sitting through it even though they wouldn’t be caught dead reading it after eleventh grade. But we feel smart watching these films, and so let us indulge our inner scholar and take a look at some incarnations of Hamlet.

Hamlet (1990)

We all know that the world has gone awry when Mel Gibson is playing Hamlet and he is actually trying to do it seriously. It is often interesting to ponder whether the other actors, including Glenn Close, Alan Bates and Helena Bonham-Carter, could have kept straight faces during the production of this film. Okay, maybe I am being a little harsh. This version is actually not that bad. Mel does pull off Hamlet in his characteristically ignorant-American-heartthrob sort of way. Uh