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Italian Season: My Biennale. "Long live the king!" Part III

The last part of the series of the texts about La Biennale by Anastasia Sviridova for La Notte: Italian Season.

It's time to take a closer look and talk about David Michôd's new Netflix film, “The King", which was premiered in September 2019 at the Venice Film Festival.

If you are a lover of period dramas, then this is exactly what you need. If you are a careful guardian of historical accuracy or a big fan of Shakespeare, then, in my opinion, it is worth to pass this film by.

The film tells about England at the beginning of the 15th century and the young years of the English king Henry V (Timothée Chalamet) and seems to be divided into three parts: the first one is about the life of Prince Hal (it's funny that Timothée's middle name is also Hal) before accession to the throne, the second one shows the spectators how he ascended the throne, and then how it all ended. In the movie, we can see the complex relationships between the young prince and his father, the King, a sincere and devoted friendship with Falstaff (Joel Egerton): first a friend in brothers, and then a Sir. We also can see the betrayal of those who were close to the ruler. The film showed both the ridiculous confrontation between the young King and the French dauphin, and the famous desperate but victorious battle at Eisencourt. The last part of the film is full of questions about the justice of the monarchy. The desire for peace, which Henry wanted so much, leads to the war, his deep religiosity - to animal cruelty, or is it wrong? This is what you would want to think about after watching.

David Michôd, Timothée Chalamet, Joel Egerton

Chalamet's acting, without paying attention to the weakly successful British accent, powerful and hysterical, allowed him to convey the inner rush of the monarch, on whose shoulders the debt of government fell so early. But even despite the huge amount of screen time allotted to the benefit performance of the attractive Timothée Chalamet in close-ups, the scenes with the French Dauphin were stolen by Robert Pattinson: I have never seen such an actor, and he is definitely the success of this project. Joel Egerton as Falstaff and Lily-Rose Depp as Princess Catherine of Valois performed episodic roles, but very vivid and indicative for understanding the full picture of the formation of Henry V. The admiration that Henry achieved with ease.

Episodes of medieval life, court and battles are irreproachable. The picture and soundtrack can be endlessly enjoyed even by sophisticated Game of Thrones fans.

Timothée Chalamet and me with him

“The King" is a good Hollywood film aimed at a wide audience, but not Oscar-winning one. It certainly has something to complain about: the protractedness of some scenes, a plot that could have flowed more smoothly, and not in large strokes from the most iconic moments. But this did not completely prevent the film from remaining completely solid and smart in its main message.

-Do you feel a sense of achievement?
⁃ In what regard?
⁃ In any regard.

Text and photos: Anastasia Sviridova

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