Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Almereyda|
|Produced by||Andrew Fierberg|
|Screenplay by||Michael Almereyda|
by William Shakespeare
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Cinematography||John de Borman|
|Edited by||Kristina Boden|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$2 million|
Hamlet, also known as Hamlet 2000, is a 2000 American drama film written and directed by Michael Almereyda, set in contemporary New York City, and based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. Ethan Hawke plays Hamlet as a film student, Kyle MacLachlan co-stars as Uncle Claudius, with Diane Venora as Gertrude, Liev Schreiber as Laertes, Julia Stiles as Ophelia, Steve Zahn as Rosencrantz, Bill Murray as Polonius, and Sam Shepard as Hamlet's father.
In this version of Hamlet, Claudius is "king" of the Denmark Corporation, having taken over the firm by killing his brother, Hamlet's father.
This adaptation keeps the Shakespearean dialogue but presents a modern setting, with technology such as video cameras, Polaroid cameras, and surveillance bugs. For example, the ghost of Hamlet's murdered father first appears on closed-circuit TV.
Reviews of this film have been divided. Metacritic, a review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 70/100, based on 32 reviews from mainstream critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 57% of critics gave positive reviews based on 89 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Stiff performances fail to produce any tension onscreen."
Film critic Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times lauded it as a "vital and sharply intelligent film," while The Washington Post reviewer deemed it as a "darkly interesting distraction but not much more." The reaction to Hawke's performance as the title role is also mixed. The Los Angeles Times described him as a "superb Prince of Denmark - youthful, sensitive, passionate but with a mature grasp of the workings of human nature."New York magazine, however, thought Hawke's performance was only "middling."