Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ethan Hawke's Hamlet

So my DVR noticed that Ethan Hawke's Hamlet was on this week, and recorded it for me.  Am I going to like it?  I can tell you, I'm about 15 minutes in or so and I don't.  It's like a bunch of 20 something actors got together and said "People will take us seriously if we do Shakespeare!" Meanwhile they walk through their lines as if to say, "I have no idea what I just said."

I hear Bill Murray is good in it, though.


sonneta said...

Oh man, I hated that version. Wait till you get to the "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy. Or the part with the ghost coming out of the Pepsi Machine. Pretty sure the only thing that version would be good for is a good MST3K-ing.

Craig said...

I have to confess that I only saw this once, and it was late at night, and I wasn't paying much attention, but the production didn't seem to _deserve_ much attention, either. I think I had much the same reaction: there just didn't seem to be much understanding, much intelligence operating behind the lines. Shallow, flashy, vacuous.

Bill said...

I wasn't crazy about this interpretation, but as you say, I did enjoy Bill Murray's performance. I would chalk it up as an experiment that didn't quite pan out, rather than a failure due to lack of seriousness.

I saw Hawke live, playing Hotspur in a combined 1H4/2H4 at Lincoln Center, and he was really good. The cast included Kevin Kline as Falstaff, and was one of the more enjoyable experiences I've had in the theatre, despite the four-hour traffic of the stage.

Duane said...

Kline as Falstaff? I wonder, was that the performance that Rosenbaum spoke at such great length on, with the whole "getting up from a bench" thing?

catkins said...

I do think it was the performance Rosenbaum was talking about. I saw it, too. I agree that Kline and Hawke were very good, although I remember not being pleased with the entire cast (can't remember exactly who it was that disappointed me). I was also not thrilled with the conflation of the two plays. I don't know why they didn't just perform them both. What, New Yorkers aren't sophisticated enough to see two Shakespeare plays on different nights? I also hated the space--very awkward theater for viewing.

amusings_bnl said...

my son would like to see a version of hamlet and i deliberately wasn't going to order this one.

Which one would you recommend we get?

and i agree this one is good for MST3King the heck out of.

duane it was nice to see you yesterday. i hope your kids lasted for a while in the heat. we ended up running for the pavilion right before the battle of agincourt.

do you know how hard it must be to fight in a crowded pavilion with swords ... good thing these kids had great weapons training!


Gedaly said...

It's been a long time since I've seen this version, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't a big fan of Bill Murray's performance. I remember him being very dry and boring. I should watch it again for a refresher.