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    Hamlet Film Versions

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    Using the 4 different versions of Hamlet on film (Mel Gibson, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Kline, and Kenneth Branagh), examine these elements:

    1) Which films are the most accurate and why?

    2) What parts in each film are the most glaring inaccurate and what were the significant changes?

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    Solution Preview

    In the different versions of Hamlet, the one that remains truest to Shakespeare's original play is Kenneth Branagh's version.

    Branagh's version (1996) is the longest film of all of those you mentioned, but his is the most accurate to the original play, is exciting, and doesn't "dumb down the material, and so if you are looking for the film that covers it all, this would be the one. Branagh's acting is praised, as are the performances of several supporting actors, but to those who are not Shakespearean purists, watching this one requires an extended commitment of viewing time. (It comes in a two-DVD set.) Branagh also has a long history with Shakespearean acting, so he bring a great deal of experience to the role. The setting of the play is more contemporary, as are the costumes, but it still remains relatively true to Shakespeare's original vision.

    Mel Gibson's version (1990), as with others, leaves out some information, and the sequencing of events is altered for a smoother flow in the film. Zeffirelli (the director) chooses to change the chronology of some of the events so that the plot moves along more quickly, not necessarily altering the ...

    Solution Summary

    Hamlet film versions are concisely compared and contrasted.