When the ghost tells Hamlet to avenge his death, he calls Hamlet stupid and H replies “Get on with it, it’s cold and I don’t want to be late for dinner.” This ain’t your gramma’s Hamlet!! It’s a black-and-white Finnish satire of the business world. In corporate Finland, there are no good guys, no sympathetic souls, just murderous fiends who all want to get ahead. Thus, it turns out Hamlet poisoned his own father, and in the end he is dispatched by the family chauffeur, a spy for the workers’ union.
Movie does have its funny parts (which include Polonius’s mustache), but I regret I can’t say it was a total delight to watch. Not a chore, either, and not mediocre or a waste of time, just a mild success, a Jarmusch-reminiscent dark comedy. All that Shakespeare probably held it back (although he cut all soliloquies and cut the story to a sleek 85 minutes). I’m still optimistic, wanna check out more Kaurismäki soon.
Polonius and his mustache:
I liked the music… this band got to play a whole song in the middle of the movie. Note found online: “the film features a live performance of the song Rich Little Bitch by Melrose, a Finnish rock trio very popular at the time when the film was made.”
Choice Kaurismaki quote: “When I was young, I would sit in the bath and ideas would come to me. But I’m not young any more, so now I just sit in the bath.”