film

reviews










 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

Director:
Tom Stoppard
COUNTRY
UK/USA
GENRE
Comedy/Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
-
RUNNING TIME
117 minutes
Producer:
Emanuel Azenberg
Michael Brandman
Screenwriter (from his own play):
Tom Stoppard


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Rosencrantz Gary Oldman
Guildenstern Tim Roth
The Player Richard Dreyfuss
Hamlet Iain Glen
Polonius Ian Richardson
Ophelia Joanna Roth

 

Review

This narrow film certainly isn't for everyone, but then again, it never was meant to be. Tom Stoppard adaps his own play in his one and only turn in the director's chair. The outcome could have been better. To a large extent, we get the clever comedy and the delightful playfulness of the conversations between our two leads as they drag us through philosophical and existential twaddle or truths (depending on your point of view) on their quest to find out what's going on with Hamlet - and ultimately themselves. The genius of Stoppard's play is how it constantly balances between the poetic, the brilliant and the nonsensical. Shakespeareans will enjoy the film version as well, but doubtingly to the same extent as they did the play. The reason is this: Stoppard cannot seem to bring his film the vitality and vigour it needs. The film works best when Tim Roth and an inspired Gary Oldman are left alone to ponder their existence, but comes off as too stagey in many of the narratively conclusive parts, making it a tiring and overlong experience.

Copyright 5.4.2007 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

[BACK TO INDEX]

[HAVE YOUR SAY]