After ripping it to my ipod for train watching, I have finally finished Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard. Starring Gary Oldman as Rosencrantz, or possibly Guildenstern, and Tim Roth as Guildenstern, or possibly Rosencrantz. First and foremost, the acting from the two leads is just off the charts amazing. The whole essence of the role is that these two characters are just literally dropped into a play in progress, and have no idea where they came from or why they are there (other than “We were sent for” which they cling to for dear life). The nature of the pair, so similar that they’re not even quite sure who is who, is fascinating, even in the little details like watching them walk down stairs in a sort of unintended synchronous march. There are moments of laugh out loud humor (mostly from poor Rosencrantz, who at times seems an Elizabethan Einstein, when no one is looking), and moments of quiet existential philosophy that would make Hamlet himself say “Huh, never thought of that.” Most of all it is the acting that carries the day. Richard Dreyfuss wanders through the play as leader of the Players, trying to point out the nature of “tragedy” to ill-fated R & G, who never quite seem to get what he’s telling them….not that it would matter if they did, which is sort of the whole point. I thought it was great. Glad I finally watched it. Highly recommended.