Ethan Hawke portrays Hamlet exactly as I envision him - driven by love (not just revenge), capable of being a prick but on the whole, an introspective "passive" character. Out of the three contemporary films, this story arc makes the most sense to me: Hamlet doesn't really put on a show of being mad (yeah yeah textual evidence), he is depressed and conflicted, but everyone takes that for "madness." Of course, Hawke's low-key delivery wouldn't work on stage but the quiet moments - "get thee to a nunnery" as romantic prelude! - are the most beautiful interpretations of the Bard I have ever seen. Even "to be or not to be" in a video store is actually quite an awesome commentary - "oppressor's wrong, pangs of dispriz'd love, law's delay, insolence of office," et cetera, are all the trite tragedies in films nowadays, yet we rent them and watch them like robots, "los[ing] the name of action." Almereyda truly updates this classic for a new era of electronic and insidious voyeurism. While Stiles and Murray are terrible Shakespearean actors, Shepard, MacLachlan, Venora, and Schreiber are excellent. I must admit though, I am dissatisfied with the death scenes in all three films. And sad to say, as the result of watching so much Hamlet in 72 hours, I'm starting to believe more and more that Shakespeare wrote this in a fortnight :~P It really is an uneven plotline, deserving the title of "problem play."