Hamlet (1996)

So, you have to see this one in Chapel Hill, at the Carolina, and 
they're conveniently charging $7.50 for all shows.  Price gouging 
is what it's called and, if you arrive early, you'll have time to 
(a.) get incensed and (b.) deliver a monologue about it in the 
lobby.  I just took my seat, as I was already spent from having an 
aside on Franklin Street, after a traffic ticket informed me that 
the Elvismobile was parked approximately one inch into a towing 
zone.  Sigh.  I can report that $32.50 buys a lot of movie.  Four 
hours worth, actually, with the complete text, a zany international 
cast, Elsinore imagined as a bright and sunny palace, and Kenneth 
Branagh, Mr. Shakespeare himself, spitting spittle as the peroxide-
blonde brooder.  (His Hamlet is quite the shouter.)  The twenty-
minute intermission is helpful, though, by the end, I wanted even 
more movie.  I wanted more action, more sprawl, and more visual 
space, especially in the flashbacks and exterior scenes.  I wanted 
to witness Ophelia's final fate, for example, and see more of the 
Norwegians, who storm the castle at the end of the story.  Mr. B. 
has made a big play at a big play, but, you know, it still doesn't 
feel like a big-enough movie.  (Rated "PG"/238 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 1997 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: January 26, 1997

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