Kenneth Branagh goes "full King Ludwig" in not only the sumptuous, fairytale art direction but also in sheer scale, length and melodramatic brio. "Hamlet" is a full-on tragedy, full of the bravura as well as the genius of Shakespeare, and Branagh handles it as such.
While melodramatic and a little too much at times, Branagh's "Hamlet" is so visually and dramatically lush for the majority of its barely noticeable four-hour run-time that it's a hard film to critique. Perfect casting, all the way around.
Overblown, overproduced, overacted, a shameless ego trip for Branagh who is wiped off the screen by the likes of Kate Winslet and Julie Christie. Stunt Cameos from Billy Crystal, Jack Lemmon and Robin Williams add zero to the proceedings. The climactic fight scene is ridiculous.
One of the best adaptation of Hamlet ever grace on screen. Thanks to superb writing of Branagh, that faithfully transformed every single dialogue. And the pace, for a 4 hours movie, are just simply incredibly tight, without any single unnecessary scene, in my opinion
Kenneth Branagh transcends his physicality to somehow rival Olivier and create balls to the wall Shakespeare. Absolutely blew my mind as a teenager. It takes me through the emotional ringer every time I watch it.
Bold and brash, epic and vast, Branagh’s Hamlet is a visual and dramatic spectacle of great proportions. Shakespeare’s play is given the kind of scale that it’s large encompassing story deserves, and the performances are given the right kind of grandiose dramatic weight and powerful emotion that evokes the world of grand gesture and theatrics while making it also truthful and heartfelt.
Brilliant! A definitive cinematic take on Hamlet. Branagh rings out the tragedy, humour, sadness and thrill of the play, which is obviously one of THE great works of art, on a gorgeous visual tapestry. No wonder stuffy Shakespeare scholars prefer the dry, stupid, easily pinned-down Olivier version, with its silly Oedipal reading of the play. Branagh embraces Shakespeare, with all its indeterminacy and brilliance.
My Shakespeare professor held this up as about the worst adaptation possible of "Hamlet." He would likely be aghast at my view, which is essentially the exact opposite. Branagh ambitiously takes on the entire thing, leaving out nothing, successfully capturing the play's intensity, presenting it as a regal, grand spectacle, energetic and unapologetically forceful.