EG - After seeing this again I realized I not only overrated this in my mind, but did the same for Scotland, PA. I would say they are both only worthy of 2 Yoricks on my scale of 5.
In the case of Scotland, PA it is worth watching for the clever adaptation and Muara Tierney. In the case of Hamlet it is also worth watching for elements rather than the sum of the film.
These elements are:
- Bill Murray as Polonius
- Julia Stiles' scene with the Polaroid flowers
- and the featuring of and footage shot with the PXL 2000
Red - I am quite the Hamlet buff. That happened more or less by accident, but we are talking about arguably the greatest play in the English language. This is not the greatest Hamlet ever, or probably even the greatest Hamlet on film. (Although I'm not familiar with any others and it's probably at least twice as good as the one I once caught part of on TV with Campbell Scott [who I love] in the title role where someone decided we should be able to hear the voices in Hamlet's head.)
What made this movie for me was casting. Skipping the title role and the ones EG mentioned, I really dug Kyle McLaughlin as Claudius, and also the always diggable Liev Schreiber as Laertes. In an interesting bit of WILATU film fest synergy, Diana Verona played Gertrude. She also played Lady Capulet in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet. She was good, too. And, okay, since neither of us has mentioned him, Ethan Hawke was a'ight in the title role, though he's neither the greatest nor the worst Hamlet there's ever been, or even that I've ever seen.
I give it 3 Yoricks.