Showing events from the point of view of two minor characters from Hamlet, men who have no control over their destiny, this film examines fate and asks if we can ever really know what's going on? Are answers as important as the questions? Will Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (or Guildenstern and Rosencrantz) manage to discover the source of Hamlet's malaise as requested by the new king? Will the mysterious players who are strolling around the castle reveal the secrets they evidently know? And whose serve is it? Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@>
Their different responses to the coin tosses reflect the different personalities of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Rosencrantz blithely flips a coin, notes it as heads, and pockets it, over and over again, never questioning why the coins keep coming up heads. Guildenstern, in contrast, worries that the two have entered an alternate universe, since standard laws of probability dictate that a coin has an equal chance of coming up heads or tails. The more coins Rosencrantz wins, the more frightened Guildenstern gets. When Rosencrantz tires of the coin flipping, he begins cutting his fingernails and imagining what happens to the nails after death, foreshadowing the deaths in Act III. His actions demonstrate a relaxed attitude toward the world: he generally believes that everything is and will be okay, and he has no interest in worrying about unknowns. Guildenstern, however, shows a more complicated range of emotions and thought patterns. While Rosencrantz passively accepts the results of the coin flipping, Guildenstern actively struggles to figure out what the results might mean. Unlike Rosencrantz, Guildenstern demonstrates a willingness to interpret and engage with the world around him.