‘Ophelia’ Film Review: Daisy Ridley Gives Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroine a Provocative Do-Over

  • The Wrap
‘Ophelia’ Film Review: Daisy Ridley Gives Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroine a Provocative Do-Over
We’ve had “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” and “Fortinbras Gets Drunk,” and now there’s “Ophelia,” an intelligent and gorgeous spin on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the point of view of the melancholy prince’s beloved.

Hamlet” of course has its share of memorable characters — recall the bit player who claimed that the play was about a grave digger who meets a prince — but this provocative adaptation of Lisa Klein’s novel gives an oft-maligned character purpose and agency. It is not betrayal and madness that bewitches this Ophelia but toxic masculinity.

Director Claire McCarthy (“The Waiting City”) and adapter Semi Chellas (“Mad Men”) give us an Elsinore Castle and its court that’s as handsomely mounted as any number of straightforward Shakespearean adaptations, but they cleverly tweak the proceedings to make us reexamine key moments from an entirely different angle.

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