England, 15th century. Hal, a capricious prince who lives among the populace far from court, is forced by circumstances to reluctantly accept the throne and become Henry V.
biography hundred years' war british history mentor protégé relationship king of england costume drama 15th century british monarchy battle of agincourt medieval england father son relationship henry v medieval france
Just finished The King, a modern interpretation of parts of Shakespeare's Henry IV and Henry V, seemingly targeted at millennials.
It's common knowledge that much of Shakespeare's Henry V is based on hearsay, yet his pre-battle speeches at Barfleur ('Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.') and Agincourt ('We band of brothers') have become the stuff of legend and remain the most stirring battle speeches of our time. In The King, Henry's pre-battle speech at Agincourt is neither stirring or inspirational due to being a watered-down, 21st-century, politically correct rendition, which I found hard to stomach.
The King portrays Henry (Hal) as a pacifist and reluctant leader, a fop to Catherine of Valois and I found Timothee Chalomet's (an American) performance as Hal to be too 21st century and not in the slightest bit convincing. In fact, he seemed reluctant to carry out any of the deeds that the real Henry V actually carried out.
The battle scenes were very realistic and the cinematography was superb, but...
This is yet another nod to the PC millennials, diluting and revising both Shakespeare and history into easily digestible snack bites for the sensitive of our era.