Mel Gibson starred in the film of Shakespeare's play "Hamlet". It was well received
by the movie critics and had a wide release in the USA.
I liked this version very much because it is a very physical interpretation of
the famous Shakespeare role, with lots of exciting action.
Like most of Shakespeare's plays that are adapted for the Screen, the dialogue
has been trimmed, and parts of speeches moved around to give the audience a more
easily understood version of the text.
The film is referred to most amusingly in a scene in "Clueless". Another interesting bit of information is that some of the exteriors were shot at the Scottish location of Dunottar Castle - a magnificent ruined fortress on a promontory on the east coast. Coincidentally, in reality, William Wallace fought and won a battle against the English garrison holding Dunottar Castle in 1287. As you probably know, Mel Gibson played the role of William Wallace in his oscar-winning movie "Braveheart".
A professor of English literature has told me that she does not like this version of Hamlet. She disapproved of the changes made to the original text. But for a non-purist, like me, it is a very entertaining film. I found it fast-moving and gripping. I think I understood Hamlet's motivation better in this version than in any other I have ever seen. However, this is may not be true to the spirit of Shakespeare. There has always been a mystery, or complexity about the inner workings of Hamlet's mind. For centuries, scholars have debated why Hamlet did this, or said that. That's why it is considered such a classic of literature. So in this sense, Mel Gibson's Hamlet is rather over-simplified. But it is very entertaining.
Some people were surprised to find the star of Mad Max and other such popular, and violent movies, taking the role of Hamlet. They were even more surprised to find that he was good enough at acting to do a creditable job. But Mel was trained for four years at the best acting college in Australia, a training that included Shakespeare and classical theatre. One of his first stage roles was Romeo in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".