Notes On How To Be King (Film Thoughts: The King, Netflix)

large_king-posterDavid Michod’s ‘The King’ showcases Imothee Chalamet, who plays King Henry V, and we see a young actor come into his own here right before our eyes. Prior to this, we have only seen him in young, tortured roles, but in this film, even though Hal is young and tortured, we see the character complete an arc to young adulthood, and he literally becomes a King as a character and as an actor before our eyes. It shouldn’t surprise me how good Chalamet is – he puts great thought in his role but the result does not come off mannered – and he is fantastic here. In a lot of ways he elevates the film, which comes off a little heavy at times. The story of King Henry V’s rise to young kinghood in 1413 is an interesting one, but it is also very details. Michod and screenwriter Edgerton cuts some necessary corners, but the film still logs at a heft 140 minutes, and I wonder if your average Netflix viewer will have the patience for it. I was at the screening at the film is gorgeous to look at on the big screen, and I would say that’s the preferred version for one to truly appreciate this film.  The film makes the story easily accessible, and the dialogue is more modern than archaic so it doesn’t really ‘read’ as too much ‘history.’  It’s a meaningful and timely film, and was even jokingly described as “the story as to how Brexit happened.’  I hope it gets eyes, and it looks like Netflix is promoting the hell out of it. (It starts streaming 1 November and is in selected theaters right now)

P.S. I have to do a quick shout out to Robert Pattinson, who plays Dauphine, the son of the French king. He steals most of the scenes he is in, with a great comedic flamboyant fearless performance. I bet we will hear more about his performance here.

 

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