The screenwriter says he used all the material from Austen’s work in the first half of the first episode.
Let’s get something straight. Whenever somebody suggests that I watch a play by Shakespeare, I usually run the other way. Except for Romeo and Juliet, I’m pretty much Shakespearean ignorant. With a mere high school education and no college course to make me study literature, his famous works have not been on my top-ten to-do list.
Have I watched Hamlet before? I’ve tried. I’ve read the synopsis and snoozed through it, as well as started to watch it on television and snoozed through that or turned it off. Now, take the same story, and have it told through the eyes of a woman, Ophelia, and you’ve got my attention. As IMDb says, “It’s a re-imaging of Hamlet, told from Opehlia’s perspective.” Apparently, it’s based on a novel by Lisa Klein.
The movie was directed by Claire McCarthy and stars Daisy Ridley (Ophelia), Naomi Watts (Gertrude), Clive Owen (Claudius), and George MacKay (Hamlet). It’s a well-done movie with beautiful cinematography, costumes, and acting. You don’t need to worry about that old-English Shakespeare speech either, as the dialogue is understandable.
Since I’m not crazy about Shakespeare, I do appreciate those writers and directors who have the boldness to take old works and modernize them just enough for us who don’t have a master’s degree in literature to understand and appreciate the stories. It helps us little folk without all those fancy degrees actually enjoy it on our level of understanding.
If you’re looking for a classic tragedy (and believe me the ending is tragic enough to illicit a tear), you might want to watch this fantastic movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Where can you watch it? Check it out at Ophelia: Watch At Home. I rented it off Amazon for $5.99. Cheaper than a ticket at the theater and you make you own popcorn free.
Also, perhaps the picture below will jog your memory about her story.
Artist – John Everett Millais “Ophelia”