Thursday, November 17, 2016

Garrett's Review of the London Theatre's Hamlet

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I really enjoyed Hamlet! I wasn't quite sure what to expect, since I've only ever read Hamlet. So I don't have anything to compare it to except for other plays I've seen. That said, I think there were pros and cons to the filmed version. It was so nice to be able to zoom in and see people's facial expressions. Sometimes I miss some emotion in plays that was readily available in this format upon the faces of the actors. That said, sometimes I was willing the camera to zoom back out, since I wanted to see other character's reactions as well as the one the camera was focused on.
Either way, while some people were bothered by the varying styles of clothes and by some of the gloominess, I kind of liked that stuff. It felt pretty postmodern, since we couldn't really tell what time period they put the play in, but I think it felt purposeful—like Hamlet could exist in any time period. Also, the gloominess and darkness really added emotion to the play for me. I especially like the music that they put in, mostly during scene transitions. It was frightful and sometimes gave me goosebumps along with what had just happened in the scene. But it felt fitting, and a constant reminder that the play was ever brooding and dark. The part I will never forget was in part because of this, and was something that's not even in the original play. During scene transition right after Polonius has died, Ophelia walked on stage and to the point where her father had lain dead. There she knelt on the ground, hands held out in front of her, covered in Polonius' blood, and she just screamed. Along with the music, this was absolutely haunting.
I think that helped me enjoy the rest of Ophelia's part. She was my favorite actor, because Ophelia felt just right in this play. Her singing was really well done, and her last few lines brought me to tears.  Out of all the acting, I thought she did the best job. Someone else mentioned the camera Ophelia used. This was actually a great point, used to highlight her coming suicide. They really did build up her character with some of the set and her actions before she went mad, making it all more meaningful.
Of course, I enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet as well. I thought he played the part well, giving the right emotions in each scene. He was passionate, but still able to bring the humor into the play as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed the play. The acting was well done, and along with the effects I was able to really feel emotion in the play.

1 comment:

  1. I like that thought about the differing costumes to help us see that Hamlet resonates in any time! Good thought!