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Mainstream - Hamlet Blu-ray - David Tennant and Patrick Stewart

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Hamlet Blu-ray - The Royal Shakespeare Company Production of
David Tennant, Patrick Stewart
Directed by Gregory Doran
BBC - Warner Home Entertainment 2010
180 minutes

Director Gregory Doran takes the Royal Shakespeare Company, David Tennant, and Patrick Stewart to an appropriate location and recreates the Company's Hamlet. This Hamlet Blu-ray shows how timeless Shakespeare can be when done right. The production sets the play in the late 20th century, does not change an iambic pentameter, and the story is still interesting and credible. Having seen both the Hamlet Blu-ray and DVD, I can statethe Blu-ray looks slightly better on a high definition TV

David Tennant is excellent as Hamlet. Patrick Stewart is Claudius. Claudius is Hamlet's uncle and recent stepfather after killing Hamlet's father. A ghost reveals the crime to Hamlet who then plots to force Claudius to reveal himself. He is aided in this by his good friend Horatio. Sadly caught in the intrigue is Ophelia, a young woman in love with the prince.

No Shakespeare drama is complete without a bit of comic relief. This is provided by Claudius' consellor Polonius. Polonius is quite verbose and apt to go on and on about whatever it is he is talking about. Yet, his advice to his son, Ophelia's brother, such as "To thine own self be true", "Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice," and "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend" is quite wise.

This being Shakespeare everything ends in death.

This Hamlet Blu-ray starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart is excellent. The setting is full of very glossy surfaces that add meaning to some of the actions. So does the occasional use of a CCTV camera. At first the camera is a bit of a distraction but eventually makes symbolic sense.

Special features on this Hamlet DVD include Behind the Scenes, a commercial for the Royal Shakespeare Company, audio commentary with the director and two producers, and subtitles

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