Monday, November 8, 2010

Hamlet Starring David Tennant



Over the weekend I got to watch (as well as the History Channel's "Bible Battles," "Haunted Houses" and "More Haunted Houses") the Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of Hamlet starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.

While overall I did enjoy the Hamlet as a whole and also all the performances, there were times that I thought Tennant's Hamlet was a bit too hysterical. While I did like how his performance more explicitly called into question Hamlet's madness/sanity (is he really mad? is he just pretending? is he really mad though he thinks he's simply pretending), some of it was a little too over the top. I'm thinking in general of a scene with between Hamlet and Polonius in which Hamlet makes a face while saying a particular line: I thought it was unnecessary and also a bit hypocritical given Hamlet's speech to the players NOT to add anything unnecessary to their performances as it would only take away from the meat of the piece.

Above is Tennant's "To be or not to be" which I absolutely loved. I loved the intimacy of it and they way that Tennant both engages the camera and then lets his thoughts and eyes wonder from it. Another great scene occurs when Hamlet rips a security camera down from the wall and follows it with the "Now I am alone" soliloquy

On the con side of the new Hamlet, though I liked the actress who played Ophelia, I kept (unwillingly) comparing her to Helena Bonham-Carter's Ophelia. It made much more sense that Bonham-Carter's Ophelia went mad while the actress in the newer production, well, it just seemed she suddenly went mad - though honestly I think that the latter's performance (I can't find her name and imdb is being a bitch) is more faithful to what Shakespeare may have wanted - though I could be wrong.

And it seems that the entire production is broken up into parts on YouTube.

4 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

JP,
You know I'm mad for DT...so I'm sure no matter how over the top his performance I would be in love with it. I can't help myself, those wild eyes do it to me everytime;)

Writer said...

I totally get that. I LOVE his eyes, which is another reason why I love the clip I've provided. His "To be or not to be" is done mostly at a close-up at eye level. :)

Wonder Man said...

I loved it

Writer said...

Cool, Wonder Man...now I need to see how much of DT in Dr. Who we have here at the library. :)