“Balance[s] an audacious reinterpretation inside a loving ode to the original”
A motherless young Ophelia is taken under the wing of Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts). Grown into a beautiful and independent-minded lady-in-waiting, Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) captures the attention of Prince Hamlet (George MacKay), recently returned from studies abroad. As naked ambition and skulduggery threaten the royal court within the halls of Elsinore Castle, Ophelia is drawn deeper into machinations and intrigue that pose a danger to herself and her beloved Hamlet. Clive Owen co-stars as the scheming Claudius, with Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) in the role of Laertes.
Claire McCarthy’s gorgeously produced film is adapted by writer-producer Semi Chellas (Mad Men) from Lisa Klein’s fascinating 2006 hypothetical novel of the same name – which poses the tantalising question “what if Ophelia faked her watery death and did indeed find sanctuary in a nunnery?”. It is a psychologically compelling alternative reading of Ophelia’s role in Shakespeare’s enduring tragedy.