The King (2019 film)
|Directed by||David Michôd|
|Based on||Henry IV, Part 1, |
Henry IV, Part 2
and Henry V
by William Shakespeare
|Music by||Nicholas Britell|
|Edited by||Peter Sciberras|
The King is a 2019 historical drama film based on several plays from William Shakespeare's "Henriad" (Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V.). It is directed by David Michôd, written by Michôd and Joel Edgerton, and stars Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Robert Pattinson, and Ben Mendelsohn.
The film is not intended to be historically accurate, but is instead based on William Shakespeare's "Henriad" series of plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V), which themselves took considerable liberties with history.
It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2019 and was released on 11 October 2019 in selected theatres before being put up for digital streaming on 1 November 2019 by Netflix.
Henry Prince of Wales (called "Hal" by his close friends) is the emotionally distant eldest and wastrel son of King Henry IV of England. Hal is uninterested in his father's war policies and in succeeding him, and spends his days drinking, whoring, and jesting with his companion John Falstaff in Eastcheap. His father summons Hal and informs him that Hal's younger brother, Thomas, will inherit the throne instead of Hal. Thomas is sent to subdue Hotspur's rebellion but is upstaged by the arrival of Hal, who engages Hotspur in single combat. The sword fight descends into an armoured fistfight, and Hal kills Hotspur with a dagger. Although this decides the battle without further conflict, Thomas complains that Hal has stolen all the glory. Not long afterward, Thomas dies in a battle in Wales.
Henry IV dies in his bed with Hal present, and Hal is crowned King Henry V. Hal is determined not to be like his father, and opts for peace and conciliation with his father's adversaries, despite his actions being seen as weakness. Meanwhile, the Dauphin of France sends Hal a ball, as an insulting and emasculating coronation gift; however, Hal chooses to frame this as a positive reflection of his boyhood before being crowned.
Hal takes a walk with his young sister Philippa, now the Queen of Denmark, in a green field below his castle. Philippa asks about his well-being, and Hal shares that he wants to bring an end to the unrest in the kingdom. Philippa replies that she could feel the calm he desires at the coronation celebration dinner the previous evening. She adds that she, too believes the nobles wish him well in his vision of peace, but cautions that nobles in any royal court have their own interests in mind and will never reveal their full truths.
Hal interrogates, in French, a captured assassin who claims to have been sent by King Charles VI of France to assassinate Hal. The English nobles Cambridge and Grey are approached by French agents, hoping to induce them to the French cause. Their trust in the new young king wavers, and they then approach Hal's Chief Justice, William Gascoigne, with their concerns. William advises the young king that a show of strength is necessary to unite England, so to prove his competency, Hal declares war on France and has Cambridge and Grey beheaded.
The English army sets sail for France, with Hal at the forefront and Falstaff as his captain. After successfully taking Harfleur, they continue on the campaign but are followed by the Dauphin, who repeatedly tries to provoke Hal. The English advance parties stumble upon a huge French army gathering to face them. Dorset advises Hal to retreat, due to the superiority of the French forces, but Falstaff proposes a false advance to lure the French to rush forward into the mud, where they will be weighed down by their heavy armor and horses. They will then be attacked by the English longbowmen and surrounded by a large flanking force hidden in the nearby woods.
Hal goes to the Dauphin and offers to fight in single combat to decide the outcome of the battle, but the Dauphin refuses. The Battle of Agincourt commences, with Hal in the thick of the fighting. Falstaff's plan works, and the outnumbered English army overpowers the French, although Falstaff is killed on the front lines. The Dauphin enters the fray to challenge Hal, but is humiliated and easily defeated.
Following the decisive victory, the English continue deeper into France. Hal reaches King Charles VI, who offers his surrender and the hand of his daughter Catherine. Hal returns to England with his new wife for the celebrations. He comes to her room to have a conversation, and it quickly turns into a frank one that shows her strength of character and causes him to question his military decisions, because she challenges Hal's reasons for invading France.
Hal realizes that the supposed French insult and acts of aggression against England were staged and caused by his chief Justice Gascoigne to goad Hal into war. Hal confronts Gascoigne and, upon confirming his suspicions, proceeds to fatally stab him. Hal then returns to Catherine, asks her to always speak the truth to him, and takes both her hands in his. Meanwhile, outside the palace, people cheer "King Henry, King Henry" to celebrate his victory over the French.
- Timothée Chalamet as King Henry “Hal” V
- Joel Edgerton as Falstaff
- Robert Pattinson as The Dauphin
- Sean Harris as William Gascoigne
- Thomasin McKenzie as Queen Phillippa of Denmark
- Ben Mendelsohn as King Henry IV
- Tom Glynn-Carney as Henry "Hotspur" Percy
- Lily-Rose Depp as Catherine
- Dean-Charles Chapman as Thomas
- Thibault de Montalembert as King Charles VI
- Edward Ashley as Cambridge
- Stephen Fewell as Lord Grey
- Tara Fitzgerald as Hooper
- Andrew Havill as Archbishop of Canterbury
- Tom Fisher as Northumberland
- Ivan Kaye as Lord Scrope
- Steven Elder as Dorset
- Philip Rosch as Lord Chamberlain
- Gergely Szűcs as Blacksmith
- Tom Lacroix as Gilrich
- Jeremy Chevillotte as French Lord Steward
- Viktor Balogh as Bowman
In 2013, it was revealed that Joel Edgerton and David Michôd had collaborated on writing an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henriad" plays, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V, for Warner Bros. Pictures. In September 2015, it was announced that Michôd would direct the project, with Warner Bros. producing and distributing the film, and Lava Bear producing.
In February 2018, Timothée Chalamet joined the cast, with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner producing, alongside Liz Watts, under their Plan B Entertainment banner. Ultimately, Netflix distributed the film instead of Warner Bros. In March 2018, Edgerton joined the cast of the film. In May 2018, Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Thomasin McKenzie joined the cast; Dean-Charles Chapman joined in June.
Filming took place throughout England and Szilvásvárad, Hungary. Many scenes were filmed on location at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England. Lincoln Cathedral was used in place of Westminster Abbey for the coronation scenes.
The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2019. It screened at the BFI London Film Festival on 3 October 2019, and received a limited release on 11 October 2019 before being released on Netflix, for digital streaming, on 1 November 2019.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 71% based on 111 reviews, with an average rating of 6.46/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "While The King is sometimes less than the sum of its impressive parts, strong source material and gripping performances make this a period drama worth hailing." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 61 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|AACTA Awards||4 December 2019||Best Film||Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Liz Watts, David Michôd, Joel Edgerton||Pending|||
|Best Direction||David Michôd||Pending|
|Best Actor||Timothée Chalamet||Pending|
|Best Supporting Actor||Joel Edgerton||Pending|
|Best Cinematography||Adam Arkapaw||Pending|
|Best Editing||Peter Sciberras||Pending|
|Best Sound||Robert Mackenzie, Sam Petty, Gareth John, Leah Katz, Mario Vacarro, Tara Webb||Pending|
|Best Production Design||Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton||Pending|
|Best Costume Design||Jane Petrie||Pending|
|Best Screenplay||David Michôd, Joel Edgerton||Pending|
|Best Hair and Makeup||Alessandro Bertolazzi||Pending|
|Best Casting||Des Hamilton, Francine Maisler||Pending|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||20 November 2019||Best Original Score in a Feature Film||Nicholas Britell||Pending|||
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With David Michôd he has written King, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V, for Warner Bros.
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