the king

Stars: 4/5

After premiering at the Venice Film Festival, "The King" and its cast of royalty hit Netflix.

Timothée Chalamet plays king Henry V, Joel Edgerton is a triple threat as a producer, screenwriter and actor playing the role of Henry’s close friend Falstaff. Dean-Charles Chapman plays Henry’s brother Thomas of Lancaster and Robert Patterson is humorous in his role as The Dauphin of France.

The movie adapted from a William Shakespeare play, displays the life of Henry V in the early 15th century. Young Henry, or Prince Hal, is estranged from his sick father but gets called to visit him before his death. In this visit, Henry learns that his younger brother Thomas will be king and have to fight in a battle for his father.

Henry begs his brother not to fight, but ,seeking glory, Thomas wishes to fight anyway, and he later loses his life because of it. Furious with his father, Henry visits him on his death bed where he begs Henry to be king now that Thomas is dead. His father shortly dies and then Henry is left to face his new reality as the King of England.

This isn’t a typical role for Chalamet, but he does a good job at bringing this character to life. You can see the internal struggle Henry V had as well as the loneliness and betrayal he suffered during his time as king.

You could say Chalamet was born to play the role, with his middle name being Hal, the name Henry V went by before he was crowned the king of England. Nonetheless, Chalamet himself is in the early stages of his career and I have no doubt he will continue his reign as one of the best new actors in Hollywood.

Continuing on in the story, unsure of who to trust, Henry brings his friend Falstaff, who is  experienced in fighting wars to be by his side as tension arises between England and France. This tension eventually leads to the Battle of Agincourt.

Henry V doesn’t want to fight and viewed the enemies of England as his father’s and not his. Influenced by council with suspicious intentions, they go to fight France anyway. Here enters The Dauphin, who is not happy with Henry’s decision not to surrender.

Patterson steals ever scene he’s in while playing this role. He comes in during the second half of the movie and out of nowhere gives a performance that the audience will definitely remember. From the accent to the deranged actions he portrayed on and off the battlefield, Patterson shows his versatility as an actor in this role.

This of course leads us into an epic battle scene with a lot of bloodshed and death. Though, what was even more impressive than the battle scene was Henry’s speech beforehand.

This had to be one of the best scenes in the entire film. Henry was both captivating and inspiring as he prepared his men for war. It was at this point in the film Chalamet proved he fit this role.

Going into this movie I wasn’t sure what to expect. The reviews were mixed, and the ones I had seen were mostly negative. Even though I am a fan of period pieces I wasn’t sure how this was going to stand out.

Overall, I think the story was told in an interesting way that kept me waiting for the next scene every time. The film was over two hours long, and though it started off slow, I didn’t find myself losing interest.

The writing makes this historical drama unique, and the cast brings it to life.  

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