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Word Count: 406
On one hand you have the drab mundane Franco Ziffirelli production of Hamlet and on the other you have the magnificently constructed Kenneth Branagh production The settings and costumes of the flicks contrast greatly The Franco Ziffirelli version features the usual tunics swords and other medieval attire and accessories The setting is in a castle made of stone-work typical Then you have the 19th-century style clothes of Kenneth Branaghs work The clothes seem to be modeled after 19th-century German military uniforms which adds a bit of visual flare Instead of the austere stone-masoned castle a grand palace is used for the setting which is the Blenheim Palace in England Branagh certainly outdoes Zeffirelli in visual appeal The characters are portrayed in a different style by the two directors The characters in Ziffirellis film are not that great The acting in that version is flat as if they are just rambling the lines out of the book like many English classes in the world No real emotion Mel Brooks would have done a better job than Mel Gibson Gertrude is too giddy in this film it border lines on ridiculous However Branagh flexes his theatrical genius once again Instead of presenting a flat mournful Hamlet he presents a vibrant yet slightly mournful Hamlet The scene that pans from the wedding reception to the black-clad lone figure of Hamlet is brilliant work portraying the solitude of the main character All of the characters in fact are lively in this film Branaghs depiction of the drunken Claudius running through the halls as opposed to the stark festival of Zeffirellis piece shows who is better at character representation Finally the atmosphere of the two versions are antipodes of each other Zeffirelli painfully maintains a bleak and dreary atmosphere with no emotion at all Even after Hamlet meets his fathers ghost there is still same shuffling pace of nothing But after Branaghs Hamlet meets his fathers ghost
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