incestuous vibe of the family and Laertes will be haunted by red-filtered memories of his dead sisters over the course of the next minutes. Though we can sympathize with his loss, we mustn't forget this version of Laertes is a psychopath. And yet, does his resolve flag after Hamlet's sincere apology? The way he grits his teeth having to say he would not wrong Hamlet's love makes us think perhaps it does, he does not wish to wrong it but knows he must.
Fodor's limited means to stage the duel sets it in an unimpressive white room (like much of the film), too small for an audience (or a camera, the excitement of the fight is sustained by POV shots and editing). Claudius, Gertrude and others - including Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, very much alive - thus stand behind the two-way mirror, observing. One observer that stands in the room itself is the Ghost, sarcastically looking on, and sometimes visible to the participants, especially when they're about to die. The duelists' attendants are sometimes present, sometimes not, initially seen in perfectly composed shots just behind their friend - creepy Osric for Laertes, and loyal Horatio for Hamlet. The latter obeys her feelings more readily than Hamlet does and has a sense of what's about to unfold, staring at Laertes' blade most intently. But the purplish color of the metal isn't necessarily proof of foul play. Also in the room with them, so to speak, is Polonia. Not physically (or in ghost form), but as that red ribbon, showing even when the swords themselves don't, as the white blows them out of sight. Unfortunate that the sound of the room is so hollow, speaking to the film's cheapness more than the visuals do. If the dialog isn't recorded properly at times, at least Fodor uses sound design to enhance the scene, with cheering crowds and driving techno.
As the fight progresses, Claudius seems to lose faith in his plan. "Our son shall win" isn't the insincere enthusiasm that's often depicted, but something he fears is happening, or is even resigned to at that point. After Gertrude drinks from the unattended cup, sad Claudius stops looking at the fight and only looks at her. The Ghost smiles sarcastically at the situation. Meanwhile, Hamlet gets his hands sliced open, at which point he and Laertes go at it with fists, and in the struggle, the Prince gets his hands on the ribboned foil and skewers Laertes (which is potentially a fatal wound, poison or no). The music cuts out, everyone just stands there not knowing what to do, and then Gertrude starts to convulse and dies. In a small trade of lines, it's Horatio who deduces and reveals the cup was poisoned, not Laertes, making her a stronger character in the end. That hard bastard confesses and dies, but does not point fingers or ask for forgiveness.