The true story of the ascension of King Henry V of
England and the war with France he was forced to fight.
The King (2019)
Directed by David Michôd
Written by David Michôd and Joel Edgerton
Starring Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris,
Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dean-Charles Chapman
England has such a vast and colorful history of conquest, invasion, and royalty. There have been sixty-one monarchs of England spanning over a period of 1200 years, and Henry V is one that we are still talking about. He's the subject of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays; one that has been adapted by thespians like Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh over the years. But The King is the first depiction of Henry V's rule that really hammers home the harsh conditions of 15th century England and the brutality of a war that the reluctant king never wanted to fight.
Timothée Chalamet plays King Henry V, delivering a powerful, subdued performance that allows him to be regal and just a bit unhinged at times when Henry's anger gets the best of him. His story is pretty fascinating, considering he never wanted the crown, and his father, Henry IV (Mendelsohn), declared Henry's younger brother Thomas (Charles-Chapman) would be king instead. But after Thomas's death on the battlefield, Henry was all England had. He ended up leading England to war with France as a last resort, as Henry wanted to unite England with the rebellious Scotland and Wales (which he did do, but not in the way he'd hoped). Robert Pattinson delivers a stellar performance as The Dauphin, son of France's King Charles II. With every movie of his I see, Pattinson further cements himself as one of my favorite character actors.
The King is a Netflix original that stands out as a solid war movie and a great historical drama. There are plenty of dramatic twists and a host of fantastic performances. Joel Edgerton excels as John Falstaff, but also continues to prove his talents at screenwriting. This is definitely a great watch.