The King - A Film about Henry V of England

May 2013
204
USA
Well, that was a complete debacle. I did not expect much, but to invent so much nonsense when sticking to actual story would have been just perfect.......I am starting to think that there should be a ban on using historical characters in any “historical films” for another 50 years. This may appeal to people who have absolutely no knowledge about Henry V (historical or Shakespearean character), European medieval warfare/Battle of Agincourt, and those who like mindless pseudo historical entertainment like GoT.

It seriously felt like watching cartoon characters at times and I feel bad for some decent actors in this, perhaps most pointless “historical movie” of 21st century. I’d give it solid 2/10, mostly for not having dragons and magic in it.
 
May 2013
204
USA
Dragons and magic would have made it better IMO. At least the audience wouldn't be deceived into thinking it had any basis in historical fact.
You know what, you got that right. I was reading some Reddit comments and people are actually commenting that it is ”not completely accurate”, as if it is worthy of its subject in any shape and form. All I was hoping for is a decent story based on actual history. Instead I got a very dull cartoon with emo, social justice warrior prince Henry. Horrible, boring, and pointless exercise all around.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,503
here
You know what, you got that right. I was reading some Reddit comments and people are actually commenting that it is ”not completely accurate”, as if it is worthy of its subject in any shape and form. All I was hoping for is a decent story based on actual history. Instead I got a very dull cartoon with emo, social justice warrior prince Henry. Horrible, boring, and pointless exercise all around.
That was the most annoying thing to me. I will admit I don't know much about medieval history, but I always thought that monarchs of the time were eager for any opportunity to expand their lands and prestige or to enrich themselves. So, I would think that most kings and leaders would be on the lookout for any casus belli that could give their conquests and wars legitimacy. In the movie, Henry is the opposite, no? Isn't Henry V known as a great warrior-king? Didn't he relish combat? Didn't most of the nobility back then?

And the battle of Agincourt as portrayed was largely inaccurate, right? I never saw a single stake mounted in the ground protecting the archers. And I thought the English enjoyed the high ground, I thought the French charged uphill.... do I have it wrong?
 
Feb 2017
526
Latin America
I didn't like the film. I did like the production design but everything else was just bad. Robert Pattinson's French accent was laughably horrible, and the film portrays the French as evil when the English were the ones invading and subjugating them. It's a film justifying invasion and conquest and portraying that as good.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,503
here
I didn't like the film. I did like the production design but everything else was just bad. Robert Pattinson's French accent was laughably horrible, and the film portrays the French as evil when the English were the ones invading and subjugating them. It's a film justifying invasion and conquest and portraying that as good.
I didn’t think it justified invasion/conquest. On the contrary, I thought the movie let Henry off the hook for his invasion of France. He was reticent to go to war and it was only due to his ministers deceiving him that he launched his campaign. He gets all the glory/benefits of war without having to have a guilty conscience: “I was tricked.”
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,143
Australia
And the battle of Agincourt as portrayed was largely inaccurate, right? I never saw a single stake mounted in the ground protecting the archers. And I thought the English enjoyed the high ground, I thought the French charged uphill.... do I have it wrong?
Yes they held the high ground but there wasn't much of a slope and Henry had to abandon his initial position and move further down to provoke the French into attacking.

Falstaff makes this big fuss about fighting in the mud so the attackers would get stuck during the charge. Then it rains overnight and everyone is relieved because there will be plenty of mud in which they would get stuck. And then, come the battle, nobody actually gets stuck, or even significantly slowed down, during the charge. Falstaff also makes a fuss about the English fighting without armour so they would be agile and nimble and not get stuck in the mud. He says "speed and mobility will be our advantage", yet, come the battle, both sides are fighting in heavy armour. The men who, in the real battle, fought with less armour - the archers - are nowhere to be seen. Apparenty, according to the people who scripted this movie, eighty percent of Henry's already outnumbered army stood back after shooting a couple of volleys of arrows and did nothing.

Edit: I just watched the battle again and it looks like it wasn't the scriptwriter's fault. There is a one-second shot of the archers running into battle (1:45:03). Looks like the rest of the archer participation in the battle was left on the cutting-room floor.
 
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