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‘The King’ Review: All of the Pedigree of a Great Film with None of the Execution

The King Timothee Chalamet
Photo Credit: Netflix

Written by Avani Goswami

The King, the Netflix historical film based on Shakespeare’s Henriad, stars Timothee Chalamet as Prince Hal, and later King Henry V, the heir to the England throne. After his father’s death, young Hal is thrust into the palace life he rebelled against his whole life. The film follows him as he is forced into a tense political climate and carries out the war against France.

Chalamet’s performance as Prince Hal in unexpected. The film spotlights him and he has his moments, like in the speech before the Battle of Agincourt. However, his role as the defiant son of King Henry IV (Ben Mendelsohn) never fully shines through as his past (and motivation) is given little screen time in favor of more castle politics. I was hoping for a bit more with Chalamet’s character, but Prince Hal is overall dull.

Some more intriguing characters are Hal’s friend Sir John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton) and the Dauphine of France (Robert Pattinson). Falstaff’s scenes, specifically the ones in which he strategizes, are a bit more interesting than any other in which the war is discussed. Pattinson’s character, the Dauphine of France who called war against England, is definitely the best part of the film. Pattinson’s blonde hair, over-the-top accent, and hilarious dialogue provide some comic relief in the middle of the battlefield, and adds the spark the slow-moving story needs.

Catherine (Lily-Rose Depp) is another character with a lot of potential, but relatively little screen time. She shares a powerful scene with Chalamet and says she will not submit to King Henry V. Her demands for respect are great to see, however her appearance is short lived and left me wishing I saw more of her character.

Overall, the cinematography is visually stunning, and the plot is interesting, however the film itself drags a little throughout. Standing at 140 minutes, most of the movie’s events are slow and dry, until the Battle of Agincourt. The second half of the film is more enjoyable than the first as most of the compelling events and twists occur in the last half hour. If historical films or muddy fight scenes are of interest to you, I’d give this one a shot. It’s not the most exciting, but if you have nothing better to do for two and a half hours, I wouldn’t count it out.

The King is currently streaming on Netflix.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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