Hamlet And Gibson

The 3rd film version of Hamlet staring Mel Gibson varies in many ways to
original play, "The Tragedy of Hamlet." The film version starts out
with the morbid funeral of Hamlet, the deceased king of Denmark. Joining fellow
mourners was Hamlet's son, Hamlet and Gertrude, Hamlet Sr.'s former wife. This
conflicts with the play for the first scene shows the ghost of the king while
the guards keep watch. In the film, we do not see this scene for a good fifteen
to twenty minutes or so. And when the apparition does show up, it is all in one
night where Hamlet is present the first time we see the ghost. To keep an
audience at a movie, you must follow some sort of flow that keeps the audience
in their seats. I see how the ghost could have been the first seen, but it does
not give any time to develop the sorrow Hamlet felt after the lost of his
father. In the play, the reason for Hamlets moping around is not clearly defined
by his father's death being the main cause. In the movie, we see Hamlet's
anger/depression in stages. First it is his father's death. Then it is the fact
that his mother and Claudius, Hamlet's uncle married so quickly. Next there was
the implication of evil doing by Claudius. Finally comes the death of Ophelia,

Hamlet's love interest in the story. In the play version, we start the story
with some flashback, but most of these events have happened already. This
follows in conjunction why the director probably added the funeral and delayed
the ghost scene. I feel its purpose was to spread out the semi-climatic points
so we, the audience, can be interested in finding out what happens next. After
seeing the movie, I never realized Hamlet and his mother were so close in that
sexual way before. On two occasions does Gertrude kiss Hamlet on the lips... one
was embarrassingly passionate too. Then during the speech where Hamlet is
comparing his father to his uncle, he flings her onto the bed and straddles her.

If that was not bad enough, he starts the act of simulating sex in disgust to
mock what she and Claudius does. At no point when reading that very scene in the
book did I picture this was going on. I saw it a slightly heated discussion...
nothing more. The thought of any incestuous act bother me, as I'm sure it does
for most people. Back in Shakespeare's day, you most likely did not have to be
so obvious to get your point across. Things sure have changed since then. One
part that I found not to be really necessary in the play version was the whole

Norway parallel. As it turns out, it was cut from the movie version, mainly
because it was excess story that didn't need to be told. The end of the play,

Fortibras comes into the castle and after hearing Horatio's explanation, claims

Denmark for himself since he is the only royalty left for miles. The movie
simply ends with Hamlet and Leartes reconciling their differences, and Hamlet
saying farewell to his mother. Fortinbras was not in the picture during the
movie, so it would have been awkward to write him into the end. Along with these
major changes, other things were different. The lockets of Hamlet Sr. and

Claudius, the showing of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz's execution, the lack of

Polonius sending a spy for when Leartes goes back to Paris all were but a few of
the play to movie comparisons. In a business where everything done will effect
the amount of money it draws, these changes will be made. Original artistic
integrity was obviously not a main concern from the film makers. However, the
interpretation and screenplay of the movie were interesting, and provided a
refreshing insight to one version of Hamlet's tragedy.