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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: December ::
Rs: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 365. Friday, 11 December 1992.
 
(1)     From:   Rasa Hollender <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 17:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
 
(2)     From:   Robert F. O'Connor <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 1992 11:40:39 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rasa Hollender <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 17:29 EST
Subject: 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
 
In response to the Mel Gibson's *Hamlet* question posed by Gary Davis:
 
Zeferreli rearranged and deleted many scenes and parts of scenes in the
movie...the opening credits read "based upon *Hamlet* by William
Shakespeare", the "based upon" being important to note.
 
He cut out the Fortinbras, which is often done in productions since
it is a secondary subplot.
 
What is interesting to note is how the director chose to interpret the
character of Ophelia in the movie.  Often she is seen as a slightly
weaker, subservient type woman, but in this version she is a bit
more self-sufficient/independent.  The cuts made with some of the scenes,
cut out phrases by her, or said about her that support her taking a more
subservient role in her family or in the castle.  A different interpretation
of Ophelia's monologue in act 2.1.89.  In the original script,
Ophelia runs and dutifully tells her father of how Hamlet accosted her
in private exhibiting strange behavior.  In the movie, we see Ophelia's
monologue reenacted with Polonius playing the part of the peeping Tom,
slinking around corners to spy on his daughter in the situation with
Hamlet she describes in the original script.  What this different
interpretation does, then, is draw focus away from Ophelia's always
dutifully running and telling her father things about Hamlet, and
more focus on Polonius being a very dominant father trying to
control his daughter's life.
 
Good luck,
Rasa Hollender

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(2)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert F. O'Connor <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 11 Dec 1992 11:40:39 +1000
Subject: 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0364  Q: Mel Gibson *Hamlet*
 
>In Mel Gibson's Hamlet certain scenes or parts of scenes have been
>omitted.  Is this justifiable, and why was it important to him that they
>be omitted?
 
I found it strange that the whole Fortinbras sub-plot was sacrificed, but
then my understanding of productions of *Hamlet* is that this is often the
first thing to go - it would depend, of course, on what meaning(s) you
wanted the production to convey.
 
I can remember reading an interview with Zefferelli some months before I
actually saw the film, in which he said that he had found it "necessary" to
rearrange the scenes, and even particular speeches - and he was convinced
that his arrangement "made more sense".  Perhaps this is true, as the final
product was certainly coherent, but I confess that the remarks caused me a
bit of horror - the interview certainly conveyed the impression that
Zefferelli felt he had a right as director to do anything he liked to the
text.
 
ROC
 

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