take on Shakespeare's story of madness and murder most foul is unmistakably
cinematic -- he takes full advantage of the medium, avoiding the trap
of merely filming a play as some Shakespeare adaptations do, with monologues
delivered as internal thoughts heard in hushed voiceovers. He occasionally
uses dizzying camerawork to show Hamlet's inner turmoil, a trick that
could never have worked on stage. The setting, lighting, and cinematography
are wondrous setting the sombre and Gothic tone.
notable scenes for me include the sequence where the Ghost appears.
Olivier uses sound and voice to create the disorientation that Hamlet
and others feel when in the presence of the supernatural for a great
creepy effect. Another arresting scene is when Laertes and Claudius
are planning the murder of Hamlet. It starts with a close shot of the
duo but slowly backs away, as if it wants to separate itself, and the
audience, from the bloody deeds being discussed.