Hamlet Trailer (2014)

Bruce Ramsay's film is a noirish adaptation of the Bard's classic, stripped for speed and steeped in claustrophobic angst. As Hamlet, Ramsay expresses a tortured pensiveness that's entirely appropriate to the material; alternating between swallowing his own words and flinging them at his family and friends, he seems to be reeling from his own personality. It's a complex physical demonstration of Shakespeare's theme of the divided self. Other cast standouts include Peter Wingfield as Claudius, exuding cold opacity and calculation until his tortured soliloquy; Russell Roberts as the angry Ghost; and Lara Gilchrist as poor Ophelia. Her relationship with Hamlet is given a modern sexual charge in Ramsay's version; the wordless opening sequence of the film culminates in an explosion of passion that, in its secrecy and volatility, acts as an emotional précis for what follows.

There are no exteriors in this adaptation; Ramsay has chosen claustrophobia as his motif, and the constricted space cranks up the tension, highlighting the internal and social conflicts. The superb production design evokes the forties, and the cinematography is full of subtle shadowing laid on top of a palette of brown, black and white. Here's a Shakespeare movie without a hint of the stasis or transparent, intermittent “opening up” effects that plague so many of its predecessors. Ramsay honours the text in beautifully filmic terms.

1 min 10 sec


Posted On
October 09, 2011
Bruce Ramsay

Bruce Ramsay

Breaking Glass Pictures

January 10, 2014
Bruce Ramsay
Lara Gilchrist
Peter Wingfield
Gillian Barber
Duncan Fraser
Trailer Tracks
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