Thursday, 12 June 2014


Hamlet, 1948
Directed by Laurence Olivier 
Nominated for 7 Oscars, Won 4
Wins Include: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Best Art Direction- Set Direction (Black and white) Best Costume Design (Black and White)

I'm going to put it out there that watching a classic Shakespeare movie on a day that you're staying home from work sick is not the brightest idea. Especially if you didn't even read Hamlet in high school. Yes, I decided, on my sick day, to watch Hamlet. It seemed the easiest to find online and one I didn't mind getting out of the way. However, my head was really stuffed up and cloudy that not much was processed. Especially since this was really my first exposure to Hamlet, as that was not one of the plays by Shakespeare I read in high school. 

So this review will be quite short. Laurence Olivier was obviously fabulous. He was kind of born to do Shakespeare, and the fact that he was mainly a stage actor reflects that. However, he outshone pretty much everyone around him. Olivier was great, but no one else really even felt like they were coming close. 

The story is interesting, and not unlike other Shakespeare plays I've read. However, having not ever read it or seen it performed before now, it was hard to pick up. Thankfully my husband was working from home that day, so was peering over shoulder and letting me know, occasionally, what was going on. Thank goodness for him and all his smarts. I also got the impression from him that this was more or less a straight reading from the text of Shakespeare and wasn't overly creative, which I got a little bit of a feeling that was happening anyway. 

That being said, however, the set pieces and costumes and sets were very well done. If nothing else, the film looked great and the costumes were great as well. Also did anyone notice how Hamlet's mom looked like not that much older than him? It's actually because she's almost 10 year younger... So not exactly the most accurate casting in this one... But Olivier can do what he wants because he's starring and directing, right? 

Anyway, the film was neither really bad not really good. It was simply a performance of Hamlet that was not done very creatively or excitingly. There didn't seem to be much changes and while the performances were good, it wasn't as gripping as it could've been. 

Acting- 8/10 
Directing- 7/10 
Screenplay- 7/10 
Visuals- 7/10 
Music- 6/10 
Emotional Connection- 5/10 
Entertainment- 6/10 
Rewatchability- 5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 6/10 
Overall Package- 6/10       

Total: 63/100

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