Daniel Wang Crafts a Potent Short Drama of Success and Sacrifice with The Hamlet

May 30 16:24 2023

Daniel Wang’s latest short film, entitled The Hamlet, was selected to premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in the short film corner of the esteemed festival. The youngest member of the Shanghai Film Association, Wang has been a tour-de-force in the independent film industry since bursting onto the scene with his directorial debut Sunshine (2020), which he also starred in.

In The Hamlet, Wang again acts as the director and takes on the starring role of Henry Sutherland, an ambitious Oxford graduate and acting student who’s coerced into sexual acts by his influential acting teacher and stage play director, Cage Spencer. In return, Sutherland will receive the coveted role of Prince Hamlet in the director’s upcoming production of the famous Shakespeare play. This dark relationship comes to haunt Henry when he pursues a career in politics later in life, bringing his story full circle.

Wang delivers an affecting performance as Sutherland, a vulnerable but passionate actor thrust into a damaging situation. It’s revealed that Sutherland is a political science graduate from the University of Oxford but finds acting as his main calling in life. Unfortunately, this passion for acting takes a dark turn when he falls under the wing of his acting director, who takes advantage of Sutherland’s acting ambitions by molesting him. As Sutherland absorbs himself into his newly awarded role, the lines between his performance as the vengeful Prince Hamlet and his real-life thirst for vengeance begin to blur.

The plot (which is based on a true story) draws upon a harsh reality of the film industry that has received greater scrutiny times in recent years. While watching the film and absorbing the poignant plot, viewers can’t help but think of figures like the recently convicted Harvey Weinstein, no doubt an inspiration for Wang’s disturbing acting director character, chillingly portrayed by ‘Robert Fleet’. On the other hand, Wang’s performance as Sutherland reminds people of Natalie Portman’s in Black Swan, as he remarkably channels the anguish of a dedicated performer whose grip on reality begins to loosen because of traumatic abuse. It’s dramatic, emotional, and above all, effective.

Wang’s impressive direction should not be overlooked either. Although the film runs for a slight 15 minutes, the entirety of the plot is underscored by Wang’s economical directorial style, which is seamless and impactful. Despite this, Wang also manages to implement a variety of stylistic and stunning choices in the way he decides to tell the powerful story – especially in the second act of the short film.

All in all, The Hamlet acts as a must-watch piece of short cinema, which is undoubtedly why it was selected to appear at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. It’s an emotional journey of trauma, ambition, and vengeance, and how all these impactful themes shape  human beings. Cinema enthusiasts everywhere will undoubtedly be excited to see what this up-and-coming actor and director has in store for them in the future. 

Media Contact
Company Name: Adier (Chengdu) Technology Group Co., Ltd
Contact Person: Bu Huang
Email: Send Email
Phone: 18090001304
City: Chengdu
State: Sichuan
Country: China
Website: http://www.yunmeihezi.com