May 2, 2005

(This entry is probably going to get updated and edited several times as I go through the movie, but I can't resist giving commentary)

Probably fifteen minutes in so far, so first reations - I like Olivier as Hamlet, a lot. Which isn't to say I don't like Branagh and his white-blond hair and silly goatee and sexy sexy black coat, but wow, Olivier is a pretty-boy - I don't think Branagh could ever look that good in tights, or lounging. And he was six years older than Branagh when the movies were made - guess he aged very well. Or black and white hides better

The Laertes is also very cute, and looks the right age (was the right age, even), although he's got a slightly unfortunate 40's haircut.

Horatio, though....ouch. Looks fourty-five and has a reeeeally unfortunate 40's haircut. And so far hasn't matched Branagh's Horatio in acting (I like how he plays Horatio a lot, I just don't like his looks)

And Ophelia. Wow. She may turn out to be a good actress, but her hair and face make her look twelve or thirteen. Painfully so. It kind of makes me twitch.

More soon!

EDIT1: Best ghost scene so far, I think. Branagh overplayed it, Zeferelli (director for the Gibson version) underplayed it, Olivier hit a good balance in between

EDIT2: "To be or not to be" - I'm not actually sure which I like better, Olivier's, or Branagh's - Branagh's has a lot more emotion, which is good, but I like the staging of Olivier's better - it seems a lot more like the sort of introspection I feel it is, with him sitting by himself on the walls, looking into the sea, versus Branagh's wierd dagger thing.

EDIT THE LAST: Okay - I really don't like how the play scene was enacted in this version x.x Or actually, any of the versions I've seen, although Branagh's the best. Laertes proved to be good looking but a bad actor. As with Horatio, Branagh has the best acting, but they both don't look the part. I liked Olivier's Gertrude a lot, though, she had a sense of royalty I didn't quite get in the other versions. And Ophelia still remained scandelously young-looking, but had a good crazy-scene. I was also pleased with the duel scene, although a little wierded out by the tights with codpieces or whatever XD; But it was thankfully less over the top than Branagh's - I'm not sure what he was thinking with that chandelier move. So, overall, not bad. I think it was a bit better adapted than the Zeferelli, although having Horatio say Fortinbras's last line was really off. And Olivier, while he could use a little more emotion like Branagh had, manages to avoid one of Branagh's short comings - I'm sure he's a wonderful man, but all the scenes that I felt were overplayed, I got a sense of 'Lookit how awesome I am!' from Branagh, which Olivier didn't have.