Showing events from the point of view of two minor characters from Hamlet, men who have no control over their destiny, this film examines fate and asks if we can ever really know what’s going on? Are answers as important as the questions? Will Rosencrantz and Guildenstern manage to discover the source of Hamlet’s malaise as requested by the new king? Will the mysterious players who are strolling around the castle reveal the secrets they evidently know? This 25th anniversary movie is a screen adaptation of the successful play.
1080p, DTS-MA 2.0, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
PG, 1 hour and 57 min
Starring: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth and Richard Dreyfuss
Directed by: Tom Stoppard
Sex: Bare bottom
This is the 25th anniversary BD of this film. If you are familiar with the Bard’s Hamlet, you are half way there. This is the story about the 2 characters that eventually are killed off in that play. The story, as it is, is from their perspective. Stoppard is trying to show that these two characters are part of a bigger picture in which neither has control of the outcome. Fate, luck and chance are predetermined and even the choices we “think” we have are not imposed upon us. This film is very dialog driven, and it mixes Shakespeare with a more modern vernacular…which sometimes works hilariously, and other times not so much. This is not an action flick. After a while, I actually found it a bit tedious, not because of the acting, but because the pacing was too slow. The witty dialog will only hold your attention for a short time. Knowing the outcome already (thank you, title), also reduced the tension and drama of the inevitable ending. I really did enjoy the performances of the titular characters, especially Dreyfuss (who got the part because Sean Connery bailed for Red October), but I found the film to be a bit too long at nearly 2 hours. My biggest criticism of this release, however, is on the technical side.
Here is where I have my biggest complaint with this movie. Compared to the 2005 release on DVD, the picture quality is virtually the same; poor. Colors are muted, film grain is all abuzz, contrast is horrible, the picture is often soft, dirt specks and lines appear from time to time and the outdoor shadow details are completely lost in murk. It looks as if all they did was use the original DVD as their source. No attempt was made to clean up the print or correct the color and contrast. It just looks bad. The sound is clear for the dialog, but there is nothing in the surrounds or any bass for the sub. What a shame. This movie deserved better treatment.
There is an over 50 min interview with the director and several other interviews with Roth, Oldman and Dreyfuss.