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Franco Zeffirellis 1990 filmic translation of William Shakespeares Hamlet is a dramatic telling of the classic story which is as well acted as it is entertaining Aside from these points Zeffirellis and co-scripter Christopher Devores screenplay is an edited and re-mixed version of the original which has many lines cut as well as the entire sub plot concerning Fortenbras completely removed Franco Zefirellis private interpretation of Hamlet although divergent in some ways from Shakespeares version still remains a superior rendering due to the continuity of the screenplay Zeffirellis divergence from the original script begins immediately Rather than opening with the traditional sequence involving the first sighting of the ghost of Hamlets father Zeffirelli instead opens with a funeral sequence of his own design In this scene the director establishes Hamlets distrust of Claudius as well Claudius desire to act as a father figure to Hamlet To fully display this Zeffirelli plucks these lines from a later scene think of us as of a father for let the world take note you are the most immediate to our throne And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son Do I impart toward you 12113-119 These lines show Caudius attempt at good intentions while Mel Gibsons as Hamlet response shows the distrust the character holds for him This also sets up the relationship between young Hamlet and Claudius excellently for both the familiar audience as well as the audience inexperienced in Shakespeare Still the question remains of why Zeffirelli chose to eliminate the opening scene that Shakespeare intended In Shakespeares version the opening scene establishes the existence of the ghost and the bravery and learnedness of Horatio as he is the one called upon to speak to it 1145 while simultaneously predicating the impending arrival of young Fortenbras In Zeffirellis version these are neither established in the opening scene nor at all Horatio becomes more of a background character rather
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