Damson - What we're watching... #12
Let's get the obvious out of the way, shall we... Timothee Chalamet is an absolute STAR. Everything he is involved in gets a lot of buzz, and rightly so. He delivers every time.
When "The King" was announced, there was quite rightly a hell of a lot of excitement. Not only starring Chalamet, but also Sean Harris, Ben Mendelsohn, and Robert Pattinson. On top of that, it was written by Joel Edgerton and David Michod, and based on a series of Shakespearean plays (Henriad). It couldn't fail, right? And it doesn't, thankfully.
Chamalet and his spot-on English accent stars as Hal, the lazy, party-animal son of the ailing King Henry VI, who couldn't give any less of a toss about being in succession to the throne of England. It's safe to say things don't go his way, and soon enough he is sat atop the throne, with the responsibility of the country resting on his shoulders. He's not the only dubious one, with the majority of the country uncertain about his fitness as a king. As with a lot of historical figures, he soon proves his doubters wrong and became a national hero at the Battle of Agincourt. That isn't a spoiler by the way. We can't really spoil something based on actual history! That being said, the movie leans more towards Shakespeare's plays than actual historical accuracy, including a bulked-up part for Hal's confidant John Falstaff, who it's pretty well known didn't ever actually exist.
The movie builds up to the eventual invasion of France and the famous Battle of Agincourt. The movie never once glamorises war. If anything, Falstaff's sarcastic remarks to people who think war is something it's not are some of the highlights of the film. The battle itself is dirty, violent, and actually quite reminiscent of "The Battle of The Bastards" in Game of Thrones (still it's the best episode in our opinion). You likely already know the story of the battle and its outcome, but it makes it no less thrilling and tense knowing what will happen.
While there is nothing glamorous about the movie, it's still pretty gorgeous to look at, with the Cinematography team and costume designers doing a hell of a job. Even Chalamat's bowl cut hair isn't as bad as you would expect it to be. If there are any criticisms to be aimed at what we found a thoroughly enjoyable movie, it's that it rushes the "Hal" part of the story. A little more time spent with Hal before he became Henry would have been ideal. Plus, it might have given Ben Mendelsohn a little more screen time. When he is on screen though, he's suitably unpleasant, as you'd expect from Mendelsohn.
In summary, providing you aren't too much a stickler for historical or even Shakespearean accuracy, this could be the movie for you. Incredible direction and stunning performances from all (especially Chalamet and Harris) make this a must-see. The only downside is it could have been a little longer. You never know, somewhere down the line we may get to see a full Directors Cut.
Well. Worth. A. Watch.
December 7, 2019