Why don't they just make a version of "Hamlet" with farm animals? I mean, you have to figure with all the goons out there thinking that what the world needs is another version of some Shakespeare play, they're going to give farm animals a shot. Might as well get it over with sooner rather than later.
Now, I know film critics aren't supposed to admit this stuff because we're supposed to be smarter than you average Joe Filmgoers, but I barely understand fifty percent of middle English. The only reason I understand what's happening in "Hamlet" is that I've seen five or six film versions of the stupid thing and every English teacher since elementary school has tried like a drunk uncle to beat Shakespeare into me. The dialogue, however, might as well be in Latin.
To make matters worse, director Michael Almereyda's version of "Hamlet" is of the self-consciously postmodern variety. Stopping just a step or two short of farm animals, Almereyda employs Ethan Hawke as his Hamlet and sets the thing in modern day New York City where it's not Denmark but the Denmark Corporation, led by the scheming Claudius (Kyle MacLachlan). After the death of Hamlet's dad (Sam Shepard), Claudius and Gertrude (Diane Venora) have hooked up. Hamlet is still in love with the daughter of Polonius (Bill Murray), Ophelia (Julia Stiles).
The only important word I can think of in regards to this film is "why?" The only reason I can think of is that the Bard's work is public domain now and it allows the studios to save on writing expenses.
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