The King

The King Review

by J. Ellmers

**** 4 Stars

All in all, The King is a fantastic demonstration of the brutality of war, the difficult morality a leader must face and how not to impersonate the french.

Synopsis: Wayward Prince Hal must turn from carouser to warrior king as he faces hostilities from inside and outside the castle walls in the battle for England.

Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Robert Pattinson

The King first and foremost is a gruesome depiction of war, one that steers away from valour and glory and highlights how deadly and harrowing it truly is. After watching Call Me By Your Name my expectations for Timothée Chalamet’s portrayal of King Henry V were not high. Considering how different these movies are, however, I was pleasantly surprised with his performance. Prince Hal is utterly insistent in his refusal of the crown, but after his bratty younger brother Thomas is named heir, combined with the timely death of King Henry IV, newly appointed Henry V embraces his new title with open arms and an adolescent scowl that is never wiped from his face.

To signify his kingship, he chops his attractive ‘I don’t care about anything’ long, messy haircut and replaces it with what can only be described as every Year 10 boy’s nightmare in the form of a dodgy bowl-cut. Despite this questionable physical change, the mental repercussions of being king slowly takes its toll on Henry V, as it dawned on me in the final scenes, that he had not smiled or let slip even a slither of joy a single time since rising to the throne. It became clear that underneath the powerful, head-strong facade of King Henry was the alcohol loving, care-free Hal who despised war and everything his tyrant father stood for.

In a reluctant response to an assassin sent by the King of France, Henry V declares war on France, and quickly launches an attack on the French Dauphin under the counsel of his advisors. From this point on I found it difficult to take The King seriously, as Robert Pattinson’s French accent was completely laughable. I did wonder why French-American Timothée Chalamet played the king of England and why London born Robert Pattinson portrayed the next in line for the French throne many times throughout the duration of this film and even after sitting through all 140 minutes of it, I am still uncertain as to why.

All in all, The King is a fantastic demonstration of the brutality of war, the difficult morality a leader must face and how not to impersonate the french.

The King is currently available on Netflix and was rated 15 by the BBFC.

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