Director: David Michôd
Staring: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Robert Pattinson
Writers: Joel Edgerton, David Michôd
Release Date: November 1, 2019
The King is at its best when its men talking in dank, dark environment. When the story stretches out to the battlefield, its subtlety is taken away and replaced with bashing and brown. Timothée Chalamet is plays Hal, an heir to the English throne who wants nothing to do with the political world. He inherits the throne after his father dies, taking on the burden of war and distrust, both in the mental and literal sense.
Hal is baited into a war with France which results in him intermingling with the most memorable character of the movie; The Dauphin, played by Robert Pattison. The pair exchange words in stupendously over-the-top storytelling of hypothetical cirumstances, but no resolution is had. When that scene ends, that’s when The King begins to slide downhill.
It may seem like I am being harsh on the movie just form the opening thoughts, and that is not entirely fair. The King is a well-made drama that must be one of Netflix’s most daring cinematic risks with its grandeur. God knows it’s not cheap to get all the army extras and film on practical settings.
Keeping this review short and sweet, I look at The King like so. The movie is like a high school paper that’s put together like by a very talented student who was distracted by other things. There is an outline of something that’s “A-Grade” material, but there are flashes of sloppiness that distract from an overall encompassing experience. In my analogy, these are the moments when this student got a text from his/her crush and their attention to detail became cloudy.
I recommend The King even though it’s slightly disappointing overall. It still is a medieval drama that isn’t just about the sword fights. The final scene isn’t a climatic battle, rather its two men in a room having a conversation about trust and betrayal. Hal admits he needs help when he first becomes king, and when his safety net disappears, he learns an even harder lesson that he only becomes aware of because of a generous new foreign friend.
Focus most on the words and moments where the acting can shine, and The King will be enjoyable.
STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)