Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 Hamlet

casting robin williams – Osricken dodd – Yorricknaturally funny charactersflashbacks add more significance to Yorrick
costume gertrude wears white – bridal, pureclaudius wears red – blood, impurehamlet wears black – barrier between them, solemn, mourning
costume claudius and hamlet both have bleached blonde hair – seem same/family, but its fake
costume all women in white – misogynistic undertone – women expected to be passive
Elsinore opens with panoramic shots of Blenheim palace – Elsinore itself is a character
disguise snow covers everything up, a mask of purity — confetti at wedding like snow – their marriage is putting on a mask
ghost low angle shots – authority, opens up the ground from underneath, suggests he’s coming from hell
ghost initially a statue – we question Hamlet’s sanity
ghost bright blue eyes – Hamlet looks like he’s being hypnotised
Ghost wrapped in black sheets like he is grim reaper
Gertrude/Claudius cry for eachother, was she with Claudius before the king died?
Hamlet’s funeral catharsis – statue knocked down, ghost avenged, corruption exorcised
Hamlet’s isolation soliloquy delivered in once FULL courtroom, now completely empty, confetti on ground
Hamlet’s death carried out in crucifix position – he is a martyr, a saint, elevated in death – ars moriendi?
life/death gravediggers juggle bones – humour vs. death
life/death “to be or not to be” Ham looking in mirror, Polonius and Claudius on the other side
life/death Hamlet surprises Polonius wearing a skull mask:-forshadows death-Yorrick-literally putting on a mask
Life/death Hamlet’s soliloquy about army men dying, magnificent, patriotic, seems like an ending, hopeful
life/death Hamlet seems to know he will die – his meditation on life and death after he has accepted the wager is more significant
life/death thee are multiple skulls, not just yorrick – everyone has a yorrick, but we are all equal in death
reflection courtroom has mirrors everywhere, secret doors and library
Ophelia/Polonius Ophelia excluded from Polonius and Laertes’ conversation
Ophelia/Hamlet flashbacks of them having sex – makes their relationship more intimate and legitimate, but could also be seen as a fantasy in her head
Ophelia in straightjacket in padded room – madness
Violence with women Hamlet violent/aggressive with ophelia, pushes her around, but seems tragically betrayed
Polonius aggressive with Ophelia, pushes her
Polonius shuts iron gates on Ophelia, imprisoning her and her chastity
Polonius has prostitute in his room – lecherous old man, hypocrite
Polonius’ death trail of blood as he is dragged away – a trail of destruction, in which Claudius sees his own reflection
revenge “the play’s the thing” shot through puppet theatre
old king’s death flashback – old Ham laying in snow, innocent, Claudius looks very scared
Claudius’ confession in Catholic booth, Hamlet has vision of killing him – emphasises Hamlet’s inaction because he is so painfully close
surveillance everyone in court watches conversations

You Might Also Like