The genius of William Shakespeare has been a bottomless well of inspiration for creators down through the ages—flexible enough to absorb all manner of revision, from modern dress to modern English, and timeless enough to speak to successive generations with the common language of the human heart. Novelist Lisa Klein published Ophelia, her revisionist take on Hamlet in 2006, and now director Claire McCarthy and screenwriter Semi Chellas have brought her vision to the screen.Read more
Reexamining classic texts from a different perspective, particularly minor or neglected characters, is an enticing idea fraught with possibility and peril. Tom Stoppard’s absurdist play,
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead looked past Hamlet to the bit players. But what about Shakespeare’s women? Kudos to director Claire McCarthy and to Semi Chellas who adapted Lisa Klein’s young adult novel, for having the imagination and guts to take one of Hamlet’s most under-explored characters, the tragic Ophelia, and put her center stage.
Like the classic tale, this thrilling reinterpretation explores themes of love, romance, melancholy, loss, madness, treachery and revenge set against a terrifying backdrop of court intrigue involving powerful, competing forces. The headstrong Ophelia, groomed at an early age to serve as one of Queen Gertrude’s trusted ladies-in-waiting at Elsinore Castle, must learn how to cope with the jealous machinations of her co-workers as well as the affections of a passionate young prince destined to ascend the throne.Read more
Across her filmography, Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy returns with unwavering commitment to the intersection of female experience, spirituality and trauma, revealing on screen a signature style that makes her take on Ophelia to be one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2018.Read more