The King (film): Almost a great movie

in films •  2 months ago 

While this film contains some factual information about events that took place during the Hundred Years' War, most of the film is fiction or based on various plays including some Shakespearean stuff - don't let that word scare you off, none of the dialogue is delivered in sonnets or anything.

Although it wasn't the specific intention originally to make it a Netflix exclusive, that is what it has become after a short run in just a few cinemas. Basically, the film has good and bad aspects to it and I'm kinda on the fence about whether or not to recommend this one.

As always i try to avoid spoilers but if you truly want to go into a film blind, it might be better to skip this or all reviews for that matter


The plot all centers around the rise of Henry V's rise to the throne and what happens thereafter. I do not know which parts of this are true and which parts of it are fiction so I'll just steer clear of that and say that at least from a cinematography point of view the early stuff, which is mostly about squabbling among royals, is done extremely well. The acting is sound, the lighting / costumes / sets are magnificent, and the music is perfect to build tension. However, it does start, even at an early part of in the film to seem as though most of the major players in this film, are very small and not believable as warriors.


I have no idea how big the actual King Henry was and I don't think anyone else does either, but 23 year old Timothée Chalamet is so "skinny-jeans skinny," that I just don't find it very believable any time he is involved in a fight. Whatever! I suppose it isn't important.

I think the underlying message of this film is the fact that "Henry" was very opposed to war, especially the ongoing battles with France that have existed all his life (which leads to a great deal of turmoil with his war-mongering father) but upon rising to the throne through the only possible avenue of succession, he quickly becomes at odds of actively pursuing the very battles that he loathed previously. I suppose it could be a "coming of age" combined with "power corrupts everyone eventually" type message.


If figuring out deep, underlying moral lessons in creative dialogue-driven scenes isn't your thing then you'll be pleased to learn that there are some large battles that take place (several of them.) One of these battles is a Hundred Years' War battle that I actually have heard of: The Battle of Agincourt.

Even though they did put a lot of production value into these war scenes, I can't help but feel a little like they sometimes appear to be budget versions of Game of Thrones battles. In most of the skirmishes, they seem as though they maybe didn't have as much money as they would have liked to have had.

This is particularly noticeable when we start looking at the number of people actually on the battlefields. It's still entertaining, don't get me wrong, but at times they just seem kind of cheap.

Perhaps this is because Game of Thrones is still on everyone's mind and you can't tell me that this wasn't at least part of the equation when deciding whether or not to make The King at all. There is also the fact that Brad Pitt is a producer and Johnny Depp's daughter is involved.


One of the best performances came in the form of Robert Pattinson who plays the role of a French Royal named The Dauphin. His arrogance and insolence is done so well that I almost forgave Robert for "Twilight."

from the official Netflix channel

Overall, i believe this film is decent but not great. It does get terribly boring at times and even though he is a fine actor, Timothée Chalamet's constant brooding acting style (seems like he is about to either cry or break something at all times) starts to seem a bit tiresome after an hour or so.

I also have a hard time believing that such tiny people would be capable of being any sort of intimidating physical force. I tend to believe that these whisper-thin baby-faces would be handled the same way that Paris was handled in Troy if we were being truly realistic.

If you are in to historical dramas, and generally I am, this might be for you. However, I believe you will end up in a similar situation that I did when I was frequently looking at my phone to get through the sometimes drawn-out dialogue bits, particularly at the beginning. Actually, i think that is really the only way I can recommend this film without encouraging the use of a remote control to skip some of it.

Overall rating!


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seen it man, i loved it.

oh, that's good. I think it is generally performing pretty well. The metacritic and RT scores would indicate as such anyway. :)

I love historical dramas so I had been bought by the poster (without watching even the trailer) and had decided I would watch it. However, my love for medieval times also expects perfection like in Vikings or GOT (which were perfect for me) so I will probably watch this heartbreaking from the few outstanding things from your review!

Thanks for the review. I might watch it :)

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I have a question: Did Vikings stay good? I watched the first 2 seasons but then went away for a while. Should i go back?

For me, definitely! I love Vikings. The sixth and the last season premieres this December. I can't wait 💃

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well this is great news. I now have 4 seasons to catch up on!

The budget version of game of thrones was the highlight though :p. Anyways I really feel good when you judge the movie by not just the story and characters , but also by its lightings, cinematography etc.
Keep flourishing

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Just saw this weekend. Entertaining!

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Saw this movie over the weekend. Henry is a fighter and I really admired his courage, wisdom and patience. Since @gooddream didn't give a spoiler, I sure won't be spoiling either☺️.
All I can say is that It's a great movie!!!

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I really like how they put some effort to show medieval sword fighting in a at least semi-realistic way. Whacking someone in a full plate armor with a sword really won't hurt him and we see this so often in Hollywood movies. Instead you aim for the soft spots (armpit, neck, holes in the helmet) and they depicted it pretty well :)

i hadn't thought about it in that capacity but i agree with you... totally true.

And this is how actual sword fighting looked like. No plate armor but also no whacking ;)

I didn't realize that Jack Black actually knew how to use a sword :P I'm impressed

I’ll be watching it for sure, not because of your review, just because I like old stuff. Just on the the size thing...A clear indication as to the size of a knight or soldier from any era is the size of the armour. There’s plenty of evidence to show that knights were generally not huge, great man-mountains. In fact, much to the contrary. The University of Oxford also did extensive research on skeletal remains tracking the height of the average englishman over 2000 years. Around the 1300’s it seems 170-175cm was about the average.

I was amazed to see full suits of armour that my 5’11” frame would never fit into - In fact most seemed made for men sub 5’6”. I have a picture of me holding a chain mail hauberk up (an adult sized one) and it was very small, but also very heavy. Don’t know how they made it work.

Anyway, I’ll be watching the movie at some stage. Thanks for the good review.

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Hey that's good to know man about the skeletal remains and what not. I think I would be less judgemental about their size in the lineup if it weren't for the fact that virtually everyone else in the battle is significantly larger than the king, or the people that he eventually squares up against.

I took at anthropology course in college, but i remembered almost none of it except for when she brought in the genuine skeletal remain sample replicas. I of course being a perpetual man-child made the skulls talk.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Lol! "Perpetual man-child!"

I love history so read and watch a lot of stuff about it. The size of them old buggers (lack of size) amazed me. Had a lot to do with diet, famine and plague apparently.

Edit: I watched the movie just now @gooddream - Loved it. I thought Henry V felt believable. Liked the score and the Agincourt battle; Felt real, believable. Set design and costing was good too. Overall I liked it a lot but then give me knights, battles and history and I'll pretty much like anything.


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Was looking for a good Netflix movie or rather a decent one. These days i find myself browsing netflix and finding nothing good to watch. It gets tedious.
I know your posts are a tad bit overrewarded lol but keep these reviews coming. More then a few times i found nice stuff to watch even though i dont agree with all your reviews. :P

is "the King" one of the best things on Netflix right now? Not really, i would say on a scale of 1-10 that it is around a 6 or so.

I too fall into this trap of browsing and browsing Netflix and not really finding anything terribly outstanding. I've been using other means to watch stuff lately because Netflix seems to have an agenda of shows that they are kind of forcing on us and a lot of it is garbage.

I wouldn't be using Netflix anymore if it weren't for the fact that a friend of mine just lets me use one of the open slots on his account.

I prefer when people disagree with my reviews, that way we have something to talk / argue about :P

  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment

what you just wrote is precisely the reason why I have Netflix, no need to get a USB stick involved.

  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment

well, i'll be looking for that, sounds like something i would like to read because there is a good chance i feel the same way :)

This looks like something I would maybe enjoy watching. I don't know as though I will now that I know it is kind of boring. I really liked Kingdom of Heaven even though Bloom was kind of goofy in that. I do think that people were larger back then. They really did a good job of touching on that in the book Timeline if you have ever read it. That is probably one of my most favorite books. I have always been interested in these early wars in England like the Wars of the Roses and the like. Nice review!

Just one question - why did you get so big downvotes for this post? I cannot see any reason for the big guys to downvote this post so heavily? Do you have any clue? I know they downvote people who have used bid-bots, but there is no such thing here, so I do not really have a clue - have you got a clue?

your guess is as good as mine. I'm not going to speculate. All the DV's are -21% so i would imagine it is a downvote curation trail. IT's the trail of the future!

Well, I have gotten downvoted for using bid-bots, but downvoting an article like this one without any clear reason is something I do not understand... If they downvote, then they should at least downvote content worth downvoting :(

thanks for saying that. To be honest with you, i don't really want to get wrapped up in the whole thing so I'll just pull a Nate Diaz and take it on the chin and move on :)

It just came to my mind - they probably agreed with you about the movie, meaning that they didn't like it much, and thus in their wild enthusiasm, they actually gave the movie a downvote but did it by downvoting your article! So I guess it was high-quality no matter what, they just misunderstood how to appreciate your content :)

Started reading it but can't as I am about to watch it over the next day or so. Funny enough i watched The departed instead of this the other night and what a load of crap. i thought having Matt Damon, Leonardo (your favorite),Jack Nicholson and a whole host of other big names it would be a good film. I wish i had turned it off, but I soldiered through.

what? you didn't like a Leonardo Dicappuccino movie? lol. That movie has it's moments but mostly i think it is too long.

It had the makings of a decent movie, but they could have had a much better script and plot.

  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment