PG-13 | 1h 54min | Drama, Romance | 28 June 2019 (USA)
Synopsis: Set in the 14th Century but spoken in a contemporary voice, OPHELIA is a dynamic re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) takes center stage as Queen Gertrude’s (Naomi Watts) most trusted lady-in-waiting. Beautiful and intelligent, she soon captures the attention of the handsome Prince Hamlet (George MacKay) and a forbidden love blossoms. As war brews, lust and betrayal are tearing Elsinore Castle apart from within and Ophelia must decide between her true love or her own life in order to protect a very dangerous secret.
Review: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare. That could sum up the new film based on the popular character OPHELIA from Hamlet. But I dare say there is far more good than bad in this narrative told from the perspective of its leading lady. A solid cast and powerful performance help this one along nicely.
The story gives us a quick origin of this strong willed lass who was born in the shadow of the queen’s court, but at a very young age was brought in as a lady in waiting. We soon see a grown up Ophelia who unlike the others around her is willing to speak her mind and use it as well. She is a favorite of Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts) and the queen’s son, Hamlet (George MacKay). When Ophelia and Hamlet become secret lovers it does not set well with Hamlet’s wicked Uncle (Clive Owen) and, if you know the story of Hamlet, tragedy ensues.
Though set in the 14th Century the language is contemporary which makes it more engaging. Although Shakespeare’s writing is fantastic it doth not sitteth nicely with thou modern hearing. If you catch my drift. The narrative is easy to follow and the drama very intriguing. Fans of Hamlet will appreciate how they stayed true to its content while giving it a slight twist using Ophelia’s perspective. Most will recognize the more well known lines and phrases which fit perfectly in the dialogue.
Daisy Ridley gives a backbone to Ophelia that some may find a bit hard. Once I was able to separate her from her Star Wars persona Rey I engaged a bit more. That isn’t her fault. If anything I saw the same grit and determination she brought to Rey here as well. Watts is fun to watch in this one too. She plays a double role not only as Gertrude but also the wood’s dwelling “witch” Mechtild. The supporting cast rally around these two women and give them much to play off of.
Dramatic and full of deceit and revenge this film does not skimp on content. Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence/bloody images, some sensuality, and thematic elements it is safe for even your older tweens. A good choice for lovers of period pieces and for Shakespeare fans there is no option.