aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Almereyda’s Hamlet (“starring” Ethan Hawke) is one of the most atrocious films I have ever seen! How in the name of all that is holy did this movie win awards and get mixed reviews? Don’t even get me started on its portrayal of the play, which is heart-wrenchingly, mind-crushingly deficient. No, my complaints are much less subjective.
For example, someone forgot to inform the actors that Shakespeare left spaces between the words, so mostofthelinessoundlikethisbutdeliveredwayfasterthanyou’rereadingrightnow. The cameraman seemed to be using his elbows to maneuver the camera. The b-roll footage appeared to be lifted from an entirely different movie by an editor with ADD. Right at the beginning, there is a speech dubbed over video of an actor who is obviously forming completely different words with his mouth. The visuals were cluttered, the sets sloppy, the shot compositions senseless and the staging horrendous (examples: action cramped awkwardly into the half of the frame that isn’t being taken up by a curtain, dialogue where one person’s head completely blocks the view of the other person’s… I could go on, but I don’t have 72 minutes like the director of this hideous film did).
But the most original, startling, thought-provoking performance of all was from that boom mic, yes an entire boom mic, that reflected boldly off a window and right into my narrowed, unbelieving, pained eyes. In the director’s inept hands, the characters’ [usually tragic] deaths were mercy killings that finally released both them and me from the textbook enactment of film gaffes that is Almereyda’s Hamlet.