(COURTESY / NETFLIX)
Following the trend of Netflix originals (films such as Tall Girl, Dolemite Is My Name, and El Camino), The King, the most recent of the bunch takes us to the story of King Henry V. The film starts off with a Shakespeare interpretation of the character showing his rebellious nature, as well as a disinterest in his father’s throne. Transitioning to the death of his father, young Henry is forced to take the throne along with the war he left behind.
King Henry V, presented through young star Timothee Chalamet is phenomenal throughout the film. Although Chalamet is a Frenchmen, he plays the English King complimented by an Englishmen (Robert Pattinson) who plays the French Prince. This switch of roles is done effortlessly, as first time viewers of Chalamet are surprised to find out he isn’t English, as well as Pattinson who nails a French accent.
The only problem I have with the film is that it relies too heavily on the natural charisma of Chalamet. With little support from the rest of the cast (until late in the movie) as well as a skeleton plot, Chalamet is carrying the movie on his shoulders.
One of the best parts of the movie is the cinematography. Adam Arkapa who has been working with the director, David Michod, for 9 years now distracted me from the plot as I was admiring the openness of every shot that always seemed to be outside. Employing nature, war scenes are extra dramatic as Arkapa makes you feel like you’re actually there.
Although the pace of the movie has been criticized by many, I find it necessary. Incorporating Shakespeare’s interpretation, the character development shines as a young rebellious Henry evolves into The King of England. But it isn’t just Henry whose character development shines. It seems that every character is an entirely different person by the end of the film, afflicted by war, betrayal, and misconception. Most characters wouldn’t even be able to recognize themselves if they looked into the future.
The most surprising part of the film is Lily Rose Depp’s interpretation of Catherine of Valois, a French Princess who becomes King Henry’s fiance. Although she doesn’t show up until late in the film, her limited screen time seems to be the only time where Chalamet is outshined, taking some of the weight off his shoulders.
Most weren’t the biggest fan of this movie, complaining about the slowness of the plot, labeling it “boring.” But if you’re a fan of Chalamet and admire great cinematography, this film is for you.