I used this production as one of several that I pulled clips from while teaching Hanlet to my AP seniors. We were doing a close-reading of Shakespeare’s text, and from time to time, we stopped and viewed two or three different interpretations of a particular scene. This is one production that most of my students particularly enjoyed.
At three hours, it does cut some of the play (or, like Branagh’s production, it would run 4+ hours). But most of the cuts are not going to be missed unless, like me, you know many of the speeches almost inside and out. And they do not affect the overall story. (My students were gratified to know that Fortinbras was NOT cut from this production, as he so often is.) But the main reason I enjoy this production as much as I do is owing to Paapa Essidu and Natalie Simpson. Essiedu plays a passionate and vital Hamlet. His face is streaked with tears at times, or he may be spitting saliva with some of his words at others — yet he also finds the humor in places and makes excellent use of body language to add subtext to his words. Natalie Simpson might just be my favorite interpretation of Ophelia. While she is classically played as a pawn (and my students often bemoaned her lack of agency), this Ophelia has wit and fire, and she doesn’t hold back in letting Hamlet feel her frustration with him. It makes her transformation in Act 4, Scene 5 all the more wrenching, and accordingly, she still retains her passion and fire in her madness.
- Format: NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Naxos Deutschland Musik & Video Vertriebs-GmbH / Poing
- DVD Release Date: 18 Nov 2016
- Run Time: 180 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B01LWBXNLT