Hamlet

Director Franco Zeffirelli and Christopher De Vore have engaged in such robust cutting that they probably do deserve the “screenplay by” credit that they award themselves for this 1990 version of the tale of the loony Dane. Conceived by the decorously tasteless Zeffirelli as a vehicle for screen idol Mel Gibson, this Hamlet elevates plot to a height that retains the play's atmosphere but squanders its thematic richness in a welter of “Mommy, how could you?” melodrama. Nevertheless, Gibson does not embarrass himself, delivering his lines with the introspection of a wounded athlete. Glenn Close is considerably less effective as Gertrude. 135 min.

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