Hamlet Vs. Benedict Cumberbatgh's Hamlet

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Hamlet vs. Hamlet When I chose to watch two versions of Hamlet by William Shakespeare I had no idea I would enjoy the notorious tragedy as much as I did. The pure art and skill put into both Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet and the Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet astounded me. The two adaptations were beautiful yet traditional, and made a very known and recognized story feel fresh and new again. However, as tragically beautiful as the duo were there was one distinct difference that really separated the two Hamlets. Cumberbatch's Hamlet is a story about an individual, an adaptation filled with incomplete frantic gestures and spotlights onto Cumberbatch, who physically acts out the turmoil within Hamlet. And in my opinion, the best part of Cumberbatch’s…show more content…
This is especially true for Ophelia (portrayed by Kate Winslet). Ophelia’s insanity is masterfully done and in my opinion is even more heartbreaking than Hamlet’s eventual death. Before insanity, Ophelia is mature and very much a strong women. However, after the death of her father she becomes filled with anger and desperation, and eventually loses touch with reality. During this, Branagh’s Hamlet takes a backseat, which really allows Winslet to be outstanding in her role. This easily allows the audience to get a deeper understanding of Ophelia and her inner turmoil without Hamlet in the way. However, In the Cumberbatch version everything is about Hamlet. This can clearly be seen when any of Hamlet’s monologues are performed as a spotlight descends upon Hamlet and the background characters all freeze in place. This works beautifully when one has an actor as talented as Cumberbatch but can really restrict the supporting actor’s roles, specifically Ophelia. Sian Brook’s Ophelia is overshadowed by the mere presence of the animated Cumberbatch and her last scenes become more about how Hamlet’s reactions than Ophelia’s decay into insanity

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