"an intriguing adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous works from his and rich body of work"

Following The Outlaw King and its Premiere at the Venice film Festival, The King is Netflix’s new historical feature to be presented at the LFF as part of the American Airlines Gala.

Set in the 15th Century, The King is David Michôd and Joel Edgerton’s collaboration based on Shakespeare’s series of tragedies on Henry V. The two hour long feature film follows The young king throughout his ascention to power among treachery, war and conspiracy.

Like many other directors before him, Michôd does not make this genre fast paced or action packed throughout the length of the movie. Although the camera masterfully captures emotions and successfully shows the passing of time through the King’s personal journey. The story picks up halfway through with Robert Pattinson’s spectacular entrance, bringing back to life a film that almost lost the audience.

Edgerton’s script is wordy and filled with epic dialogue about honour, respect and power, as one would expect from any historical movie. However, for the first half of the film the dialog makes the story drag along and somewhat loses the purpose of the movie in a mist of royal intrigues and declaration of loyalty.

What undeniably works and makes The King a film worth watching is the remarkable cast ensemble; Edgerton and Timothy Chalamet have a powerful chemistry as King Henry and Falstaff. Their relationship is the only honest one that evolves and is built on mutual respect.

The most coral moments are reserved for Falstaff. Edgerton makes his character the focal point of all the action without stealing the scene from the protagonist. Chalamet is a credible young King Henry and, with his last powerful rousing speech to his troopes before the last epic battle of Agincourt, he has the strength to make the audience feel patriotic and at the same time sympathetic for a man who is ready to lose everything for his Country’s freedom.

However, what makes this film worth watching is not the poignant dialogue or the beautiful areal shots of the battle field, but Pattinson’s short performance as the charismatic and hilarious Dauphin, in The King, his character steals the scene from the first moment he appears. His presence serves as comic relief to reel back in the audience while setting in motion the premises for the final battle. Pattinson’s over the top performance helps in creating a caricatural version of the French King’s son. His arrival jump starts the action and it helps the film reach its full potential.

As a story that celebrates the power of patriotism as well as the strength of a Nation, The King is an intriguing adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous works from his and rich body of work centred on Britain’s most powerful military strategist.