Hamlet Goes Business | Chicago Reader

Hamlet Goes Business

Aki Kaurismaki places the gloomy prince in a modern Finnish corporate setting; his Hamlet (Pirkka-Pekka Petelius) is inscrutable rather than indecisive, and just as nasty as the murderous Claudius. Kaurismaki works in rich black and white here, using shadowy cramped rooms lit by a single light source to great effect. The tone is Bergman-esque (Hamlet and Laertes converse across a chessboard), modified by Kaurismaki's trademark absurdist touches (Claudius wants to take the family company into the rubber duck business). It may sound like an odd mix, but this 1987 film is actually rather intoxicating, and the revised ending is a neat twist on the original. In Finnish with subtitles. 86 min.

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