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Sunday, August 24, 2008

To Be Or Not To Be

My original plan was to review Hamlet on the blog today. The 1996 version with Kenneth Branagh. I love his Much Ado About Nothing, I was even one of the fifteen people who saw it in the theater, so another Shakespeare movie with him sounded like a sure bet.

I did start watching the movie on Saturday, but it was 4 hours long and two disks! I made it about as far as the To be or not to be, that is the question speech before I gave up. It wasn't just the length, I had another big problem with the movie. Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet. Even 12 years ago when the movie was released, he looked too old for the part. Or am I remembering Hamlet wrong? My memory from when I read the play was that Hamlet was a young man. Branagh was 36 when the movie was made.

There were some nice touches added in the movie version, but I kept thinking Hamlet should be much younger and my inability to suspend my disbelief made it difficult to lose myself in the movie.

Anyway, I don't think I can review this movie since I didn't see enough of it, but I do know Shakespeare rocks and usually Kenneth Branagh does, too, so I recommend Much Ado About Nothing, my favorite Shakespeare play. The romance between Beatrice and Benedick is totally fab.