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Kenneth Branaghs Hamlet

            Kenneth Branagh's 1996 production of Shakespeare's Hamlet is easily recognized as a rarity among Shakespearean cinema for its thorough reproduction of every scene from the original work. As both director and main actor, Branagh introduced this great tragedy with wit, energy and emotional honesty. The films success can be attributed to a number of factors. The setting and scenery are perfect representations of the descriptions given in Shakespeare's original work, immersing the audience in Hamlet's world. Additionally, the actors further this immersion with their poignant representations of the characters. Finally, the cinematography is faultless and provides the perfect lens for Branagh's film. All of these factors unite to form what is celebrated as one of the best modern renditions of Shakespeare's classic play. .
             The first example of the care and devotion to the film can be effortlessly seen in the scenery and setting. The exterior shots of what is clearly a magnificent palace in England stand in for Ellsinore. The interior is also astonishing. Ellsinore is shown as a decorative palace with an enormous throne room with checker board marble floors, balconies and arching crosswalks, lined with mirrored doors; behind the doors are interconnecting alcoves and libraries -all with hidden doors and secret pass ways. The interior and exterior of the palace are amazingly beautiful and serve as an ideal setting for the production. One particular stunning scene occurs when Hamlet's ghost appears. The scene emanates a spooky, creepy feeling that is inherent in Shakespeare's original writing of the scene. The setting is further enhanced with the use of snow and heavy fog, creating the perfect mood for the episode. This attention to detail is inherent through every scene, but would be nothing without the constantly dramatic performances given by the actors and actresses in the film.
             The effort put into selecting the perfect scenery is clearly continued throughout the film.

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