Film Diary – Act 5 Scene 2 (Jasmine Koonar)

While watching Branagh’s film “Hamlet,” I found the overall film to be quite enjoyable. There were many scenes that caused me to see Shakespeare’s script in a new light. Throughout this course, I have become more and more impressed with Kenneth Branagh’s work involving Shakespeare. It has definitely sprung an interest for me in his work, and I will probably continue to explore more of Kenneth Branagh’s career after the course ends.

In the film, Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Ophelia is one of a chilling and disturbing performance. Her slow decline throughout the movie was very obvious. In some of her final scenes when she is strapped in a straight jacket, it really dramatizes Ophelia’s insanity unlike in the play. Ophelia’s skin is very pale and her voice trembles, her portrayal still sends shivers down my spine.

If we analyze Act 5 Scene 2 in the film, we may see some distinctions in how the movie chose to interpret the play. I found that the play was quite blunt when the king dies. That one moment the Queen is dead then suddenly Hamlet is killing the king. However in the film, the scene is quite dramatic with many things going on at once to catch the audience’s attention. As Hamlet states “Then, venom, to thy work!” (5.2.296), He throws the sword from across the room to hit the King, then swings the chandelier onto him to trap him. This was almost humourous in how unrealistic his aim would be. Very dramatic. Very unrealistic in my opinion. Altogether, Branagh’s performance was once again magnificent and I will be looking forward to the next Branagh film to watch in the near future.

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