Hamlet Movie Review & Film Summary

Hamlet Movie Review & Film Summary
  • Date:
    Jul 05, 2019
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In Mel Gibsons Hamlet, Gertrude comes off as somebody who harbors incestuous for her son, Hamlet. This is obvious in the scene were Poloniuswas killed behind the door. It is not just the words that are said – the words that are said are virtually the same words that were said in the Ethan Hawke version, and they are virtually the same words that Shakespeare wrote – it was also in the body language of both her and Hamlet. There were stolen glances between them, and the way that they touched looked like the way lovers would touch. There was an undercurrent of sexual tension all the way through the movie, but it was most pronounced in the scene were Polonius was killed. One half expects mother and son to begin being intimate right there. Therefore, the director of this Hamlet was evidently, in his subtle touches, trying to emphasize the Oedipal nature of the Hamlet-Gertrude relationship. That Hamlet was really angry with his step-father because he was jealous. That would definitely be one interpretation for the reason why Hamlet acts the way that he did, and this is the interpretation that came through in the Mel Gibson version of Hamlet.

On the other hand, in the Ethan Hawke version, Gertrude does not behave this way. Rather, she is very cold and distant with Hamlet. Again, the words are the same as in the Mel Gibson version, but the body language was very different. The looks that she gave her son were not the intimate, come-hither looks that were given in the Mel Gibson version. The body language was very cold, as well. Therefore, what the point was in this movie was very different than in the Mel Gibson version. There was not the same undercurrent of sexual tension, therefore the Oedipal nature of Hamlet’s rage, which was more than evident in the Mel Gibson version, was not present in this version at all. The audience must find another reason why Hamlet is so angry with Claudius, other than the fact that he wants his mother for himself. Because this motivation was not clear in this version, unlike the Mel Gibson version. Therefore, the way that Gertrude acts, with her eyes, voice, and body, changes the nature of the interpretation of Hamlet’s motivation substantially.