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Film Review: 'The King' Should Get Dethroned

by Todd A. Smith

 

“The King” stars Timothee Chalamet (Photo Credit: Netflix).

 

Dethroned 

 

 1/2


Movie reviews revolve around subjectivity, obviously.


What one person sees as good, another person sees as “turrible” to quote basketball legend, Charles Barkley.


Many critics have labeled movies like “Joker” and “Harriet” as boring.


That’s cool.


That’s their honest opinion.


But if “Joker” and Harriet” came across as boring, “The King” has to come across as dry and extremely dull.


And despite awesome performances by acting greats like Timothee Chalamet (“Hot Summer Nights”), Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson (“The Lost City of Z”) and Ben Mendelsohn, “The King” still needs to get dethroned for the boredom induced on its poor subjects forced to endure such royal rubbish.


In “The King,” King Henry V of England or Hal (Chalamet) does not necessarily fit the qualifications of a future king.


Sure, he is diplomatic, dashing and debonair, but he does not possess the demagoguery required to be a ruthless dictator.


On the contrary, his father Henry IV (Mendelsohn, “Ready Player One”) has all of the negative qualities needed to become a wartime dictator.


He does not like rebellion.


Henry IV wants the United Kingdom to be unified.


And he wants to expand his reign of terror to other parts of Europe.


But does Henry IV know war like his oldest son Hal?


Has he had to euthanize one of his trusted warriors because the pain and effects of war became too much to bear?


Or does he see the English residents as pawns in his chess game for more domination?


In “The King,” Hal thinks it is the latter as he distances himself from the crown after his days on the battlefield conclude.


Instead of living the life of luxury in a castle, Hal spends his evenings with ladies of the night and friends from the battlefield like Sir John Falstaff (Edgerton, “Loving”).


Although Hal tries to live a life away from the royal scrutiny of being next in line for the throne, Henry IV still sends his servants to fetch him in various houses of ill repute.


Henry IV’s servants have an important message to deliver to Hal.


However, Hal has no time for his father and the direction he is taking England in the 15th century.


Nevertheless, Hal eventually relents and goes to visit his father.


His father informs Hal that he is dying.


And although Hal is next in line for the throne, Henry IV does not think his eldest son is fit for the crown.


He informs Hal that his little brother Thomas of Lancaster (Dean-Charles Chapman) will succeed him as the next king of England.


And although Henry IV believes Thomas will make a great heir apparent to his throne, Hal does not think his little brother knows what he is getting into.


Hal does not believe that Thomas knows the atrocities of the battlefield like he does.


And like any big brother, he wants to put a hedge of protection around his baby brother.


When Thomas leads England into battle against their adversaries, Hal offers to fight in Thomas’ stead so that death will not befall his little brother before his time.


But what will be will be.


Destiny cannot be altered.


And if it is meant for someone to be something, that something will find its way to them.


It turns out that because of circumstances beyond Henry IV’s control, Hal has to take the throne or no one can.


And although Hal has long despised the throne, he accepts the position as king and he tries remaking the position in his own image, not in the image of his father.


Hal wants peace throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.


When others question his authority, he chooses diplomacy instead of a military defense.


When others give him gifts, he chooses to re-gift them to his sister and his cousin.


When others seek more power, Hal seeks a peaceful transition and an even more peaceful reign.


But what he finds out in “The King” is heavy is the head that wears the crown.


And although many leaders would love peace, sometimes war is necessary to bring about periods of peace.


“The King” boasts some great performances and how could it not with the A-list talent that Netflix brought in for this movie, which will be available to stream on Nov. 1.


The costumes are on point.


The dialogue is on point.


The comedic timing is on point.


And the performances are on point from top to bottom.


But what is not on point is the most important point of every movie.


The storyline is not on point and cannot escape coming across as dull and dry.


However, the character arc of Hal is still astounding if not a little bit predictable.


Although America is obviously a democracy and not a monarchy, it is funny how many naïve politicians think they can go to Washington, D.C. and change the game.


Many idealistic political virgins go to the halls of Congress, the White House or City Hall and think that their presence will stop the corruption and save all of the wayward and sinful and sinister politicians.


But what happens often is politics changes the person as opposed to the person changing the political game.


The politician that initially brought so much hope and change to the building, eventually becomes just as horrid as the politicians of the present and the past.


The problem with their plans is the naiveté often leads to needless controversy and that is what befalls “The King” as he realizes his father’s job was harder than he could ever imagine.

 

 

REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 25 October, 2019.
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