Review: Ophelia


Title: Ophelia
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Claire McCarthy
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen
Runtime: 1 hr 54 mins

What It Is: Ophelia (Ridley), the love interest of young Prince Hamlet in the bard’s classic tale gets the story retold from her perspective. Daughter of the chief counselor to the King of Denmark. When King Hamlet falls at the hands of a snake and the throne is given to his brother Claudius (Owen) as he marries his brother’s bride, Queen Gertrude (Watts). But fair Ophelia knows that there is something rotten in Denmark and in order to save her country and the man she loves she’ll need to expose the truth.

What We Think: At no point in this borefest did I feel compelled. It drags and drags and drags on aimlessly as we hit all the bets of the classic drama but without the structure of Shakespeare’s original tale. Ophelia is a secondary character in that tale because her yarn is not a fruitful one. They attempt to remedy that by basing this on the novel by Lisa Klein. It instead proves fruitless. Structurally it is fine but narratively it’s so flawed. Visually it’s…interesting. Interesting in that it looks pretty good but most of the direction is pretty straightforward. Overall a poorly executed mess of a film based on a novel that’s not quite up to the standard that the characters are used to.

Our Grade: D, Ladies, gentleman and what have you this is a terribly boring film. One who’s third act escalation feeling unwarranted. I cannot recommend this film at all. It does nothing. It’s still true that of any adaptation of anything with these character’s Olivier’s Hamlet remains the gold standard. This comes off as pyrite. A false attempt to create something of any significance. In the end, it’s a bore. Perhaps Hamlet himself said it best in regards to this film: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

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