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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
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In this cleverly inspired twist on William Shakespeare's Hamlet, two of the outrageous supporting players take center stage for a dazzling game of illusion and reality that delivers one-of-a-kind entertainment! World Class Cast featuring Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus, Jaws), Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction, Planet of the Apes) and Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker's Dracula, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Tom Stoppard's modern stage classic finds a pair of film actors worthy of its verbal japery and existential bewilderment: Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are deliciously locked in as the title characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. And yet it remains difficult to tell which one is Rosencrantz and which Guildenstern--even they seem unsure--a clever part of Stoppard's ingenious design. Focusing on a pair of unremarkable characters from Hamlet, Stoppard sees the great play from their confused perspective. Now and again the action of Hamlet sweeps them up, but most of the time R&G are left wondering where they are, what they have been sent for, and why they can't remember anything that happened before the beginning of the play. Richard Dreyfuss (fittingly grandiloquent) is the Player King, who seems to know more about the ominous workings of fiction and tragedy than the heroes do. Stoppard's first outing as a film director is handsomely shot but uncertainly paced--although any time Oldman and Roth go into one of their tennis-match debates on probability, identity, or death, the movie crackles. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern may be the "indifferent children of the earth," but for this brief moment they deserve center stage. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
I came across the VHS at the library, while looking for some light entertainment for a slow weeknight. Having read the paperback, which I enjoyed thoroughly, I was quite excited to be able to check this out.
The first time I watched it, I found it quite entertaining, although occasionally hard to follow. Watching it a second time was much more enjoyable than the first, with the minor confusion that occasionally occurred during the first viewing becoming much clearer.
Even my eight-year-old daughter was taken in by the magic of the movie, delighted at concepts like the chance of flipping a coin heads - how many times in a row? And trying to learn the question game to play with her best friend.
Overall, this is a classic that belongs in everyone's movie library! Be prepared, though, to watch it again and again!
Through out the film we get snippets of Hamlet and visions of what is to come. The real fun is in the fact that the dialog and the actors could have easily been seamlessly slipped into the original play.
Their play on words not only matches Shakespeare but a good dose of Lewis Carroll; "Toes on the other hand","Don't you mean the other foot?"
Disperses through the story Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) makes all the great discoveries from gravity to flight to steam engines and so forth. Every time he goes to show them to Guildenstern (Tim Roth) they are overlooked, or dismissed.
The only person that was a tad over the top, acting like he was acting wad Richard Dreyfuss as the leader of the acting troop. However this is one movie that you can get away with it.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two minor characters in Hamlet. Tom Stoppard has made them central characters in his play. Hamlet 'happens' around them and they are haplessly dragged along. They comedically struggle to figure out their identities and how they came to be in their surroundings. They play mindless games of questions to help pass the time..interspersed with discoveries of various Newtonian principles and the occasional disruption that occurs as 'Hamlet', the play, unfolds around them (Notice the pages that flutter by them every so often as Shakespeare's drama progresses).
A basic understanding of "Hamlet" would be helpful in watching this film. It is cast perfectly and is wonderful to watch unfold, over and over again.
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is a brilliantly written and well directed film. I give it 5 stars.
Most recent customer reviews
Brilliant script, direction and acting. Have loved this since I first saw it decades ago ... would have loved to see its stage premiere at the 1966 Edinburgh Fringe. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Barbara Ford
I did not enjoy the movie, I bought it on a recommendation from a friend and just found it boring.
There is nothing wrong with the packaging, or anything else I just did... Read more
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Great costumes, great scene-setting, great dialogue. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2014 by Vikki
Gary Oldman is an amazing playwright. This play and the movie of the same name had a huge impact on my teenage life. That's when I first came across them. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by Bootsy Bass
This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time - the youthful Tim Roth and Gary Oldman who last played together in Meantime - are just brilliant in their acting these two... Read morePublished on July 18 2013 by Catherine A. Rawley
This is possibly my favourite role if Gary Oldman's. If you enjoy him in other films, please find this one as well, he is spectacular. Read morePublished on March 22 2013 by Rebecca