If the story of Henry V is a compelling one, you wouldn't know from watching "The King."
Timothée Chalamet is one of the best and brightest actors that Young Hollywood has to offer. Robert Pattinson too, has chosen intriguing role after role since his time in the sunshine (or shadows I guess) as the vampire Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" series. Both of them on-screen together should ignite sparks, but in "The King," even these two shining stars can't get the fire started.
"The King" tells the story of Henry V of England (Chalamet), famously remembered for his short reign (he ruled only nine years before his death at age 35) and for his military prowess: Henry V won the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 despite being vastly outnumbered, and is known as one of the mightiest kings ever to rule. He was also one of the most popular, and was about to be named King of France as well before his untimely demise. The story of Henry V has been immortalized in the famous Shakespeare play, with his story given dramatic heft like only Shakespeare can provide.
"The King" would have done good - dramatically speaking - had it attempted to tell the Shakespeare version of things. Instead, this ditches the famous poet's account and instead acts as an epic history lesson that is not at all effective. It's a slow slog through a beautiful but lifeless landscape. Chalamet and Pattinson do all they can, and they give fine performances, as does Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and fellow rising Hollywood star, Thomasin McKenzie, but these performances alone are not enough to make this version of Henry V's story meaningful.
While it has its place in history, Henry V deserves better than "The King," and in fact, has received better in nearly every other retelling of his life prior to this one. Unless you consider yourself a history buff, consider this a royal misstep.
Genre: Biography, Drama, History.
Run Time: 2 hours 20 minutes.
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, Lily-Rose Depp, Thomasin McKenzie, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris.
Directed by David Michod ("War Machine," "The Rover," "Animal Kingdom").
"The King" is available on NETFLIX as of Friday, November 1st, 2019.
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