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“Hamlet”- (BBC)
Wayne Klein
Studio: BBC Worldwide/Warner Home Video
Release Date:
Special Features:

Commentary Track


Every generation interprets the classics for themselves making them relevant to their needs, wants and desires but also touching on their own fears and issues. “Hamlet” has been tackled by bigger names but there’s just as much passion here in the performances and, in fact, David Tennant (of “Doctor Who” fame)brings his own quirky charm to his performance as the doomed Danish Prince. Likewise Patrick Stewart who plays the pivotal roles of both Hamlet’s father’s ghost and uncle who marries his sister-in-law after killing his brother also does an outstanding job. ***

Image & Sound:

“Hamlet” receives a nice high definition transfer in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The video looks quite nice as it was shot in 1080i. Skin tones look quite nice and blacks are solid throughout. While the performance looks quite good throughout . ***

Audio sounds quite good throughout with dialogue clear throughout. ---

Special Features:

This includes a half hour documentary on the making of the movie as well as a commentary track with director Gregory Doran, director of photography Chris Seager and producer Sebastian Grant focusing on everything from the performances to Doran’s choice to throw some modern touches into his unusual staging of the play for video. It is a bit disappointing that neither Stewart nor Tennant contribute to the audio commentary as it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on the variety of approaches other actors have taken to the same role. ---

Final Words:

Every generation recreates “Hamlet” claiming it for its own and this one is one of the finest contemporary performances I’ve seen committed to home video.


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