azdak: Face of Klimt's Music II (Default)
posted by [personal profile] azdak at 08:39pm on 25/09/2010
I've been watching David Tennant's Hamlet on youtube. It's the kind of production that the word "sumptuous" was coined for, and has some wonderful performances (I was just thinking how a few years ago it would have been John Woodvine playing Claudius, when up he popped as the Player King, and I shed a little fannish tear). But try as I might, I just don't like Tennant's brand of acting. It really is "emo", as his critics say - it's not badly done, it's not even unconvincing, but it assumes that unfettered emotion is the most interesting thing about a character and that the best way to explore that emotion is to wallow in it. Of course, it makes for a great contrast with Patrick Stewart's Claudius (though I must admit that I had huge difficulty imagining this Claudius gambling and fighting and getting pissed), but in some ways it's like a throwback to Victorian melodrama. Or perhaps it's a rediscovery of melodrama, a reinvention. Perhaps Tennant is the future of British acting, the equivalent of the public outpouring of grief when Princess Diana died. Fashions in performance come and go, as they do in all art. Perhaps it's time for more wallowing.

But I really don't like it. I had to fast forward through the soliloquies.

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