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Comparison of Hamlet Versions That Have Been Brought to Film Essay

  • Submitted by: nadiagruzd
  • on March 1, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 317 words

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Below is an essay on "Comparison of Hamlet Versions That Have Been Brought to Film" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

There are two different, famous versions of Shakespeare's play Hamlet that have been brought to film. One is directed and performed by Kenneth Branagh and the other is directed by Franco Zefferilli and performed by Mel Gibson. In my opinion, the version performed by Branagh is much better. The scene that will be examined is Hamlet's third soliloquy. When it comes to the style of how the scene is shot, Branagh's style uses no cuts and mid-range shots while Zefferilli's version is heavily edited and consists of many close-ups. Through this, there is a much better flow to Branagh's performance as he is forced to memorize his full scene without a break in between rather than having to merely memorize a few lines at a time. Where Branagh's performance is lively, animated, and dynamic, Gibson's is fragmented, drawn out, and overly dramatic. It is as if Branagh is playing the actual character of Hamlet rather than imitating how he has seen Hamlet performed by others. There is also a major difference between the movements of the two actors. Despite being set in a large room filled with mirrors, Branagh's directing and acting style forces the scene to feel claustrophobic through the way that he barely moves and how the camera is directly pointed at him without shifting very often. On the other hand, Gibson's scene takes place in a tomb and yet feels more open due to his use of physicality. Gibson often drapes himself over the tombs and uses a wide variety of movements and gestures throughout his performance, causing the scene to feel awkward. In Branagh's version, the storyline is kept intact as Polonious and Claudius are seen spying on him through a two way mirror. However, in Gibson's scene, this part is cut out, therefore making some of the lines seem awkward and out of place with no explanation behind them.

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