Movie Review: "The King"
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Stirring up quite a few mixed reactions, as well as possessing some surprising elements, “The King” is not a film to be ignored. The film takes place at the beginning of the 15th century and follows the ascension of King Henry (Or Hal) V to the throne of England. The movie, after being released in select theaters, is distributed by Netflix and is available to stream now. It is full of recognizable faces, from production to the cast. Starring Timothée Chalamet as the young king, Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton, and Sean Harris, the movie is shaped by great performances. 

“The King” focuses on Henry V, or Hal as he is often referred to as, and his acceptance of the role of king. At the beginning of the movie, Hal is a young, irresponsible party-boy who wants nothing to do with his father, Henry IV or the English monarchy. He spends his nights drinking and sleeping around and the days sleeping it off. His closest companion, portrayed by Joel Edgerton, is his right-hand man. When on the brink of death, King Henry IV decidedly makes his second son, Thomas, his heir as he believes Hal is not deserving of the crown. 

This is soon taken back when Hal shows up and defeats a traitor to the king in a one-on-one battle. This, in turn, upstages his brother and makes a name for himself and Hal is brought back into the royal world. His brother is killed, and his father dies, so with the hope to be nothing like the previous king, he reluctantly takes the crown. His desire for peace is soon thwarted, as England quickly becomes at war with France, and King Henry V’s loyalties and throne are tested. 

The film is based primarily on the many plays of William Shakespeare. However, there are still elements that will stand out and surprise audiences in unpredictable ways. It is dark, with a monochromatic color scheme and equally several musical scores (Not sure what she meant by this). There are mud-soaked battles in chainmail appropriate for the time period to look forward to as well. Overall, with dark lighting and the historical atmosphere, the movie is one you want to watch cuddled up in the dark this winter. 

Timothée Chalamet assumes the role of the famous English monarch with ambition as an actor and a royal. Upon the first impression, the casting of Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V feels a bit confusing. He’s known as a young heartthrob who doesn’t really look battle-ready. However, you quickly realize he is the perfect actor to portray this reluctant king of England and proves himself through his acting style.

Robert Pattinson plays The Dauphin, a French prince, who has become a favorite character for people online. Donning a silly blond wig and a hilarious French accent, this English-speaking Frenchie brings both action and humor to life in the film. His appearances are very enjoyable to watch and are a valid reason for watching it altogether. He definitely not someone you want to miss. 

Joel Edgerton plays Sir John Falstaff, Hal’s friend and an important ally in the battlefield. Joel is both very familiar but unrecognizable in the murky atmosphere and unkempt costumes. Although John Falstaff is a fictional character created by Shakespeare, he is different from the Bard’s version in this film. He is given a more heroic part to play, one that ultimately solidifies the king’s dynasty. 

“The King”, directed by David Michôd, is a great one to watch at least once if you’re ever bored scrolling through Netflix. You don’t have to be knowledgable about Shakespeare or history as it is an excellently concise story in a much larger segment of time.

About The Author

Rukayah Hussein

Hi, I'm Rukayah! I'm a transfer to UIUC and currently studying English and minoring in Psychology. I joined Buzz and The Daily Illini in August 2019, and I enjoy writing about the movies that I love and books I'm reading. When I'm not studying or writing, I am usually listening to a true crime podcast and drinking tea.

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