‘The King’ Review: The Spectacular Timothée Chalamet amongst the Subpar


Photo courtesy of Netflix

Pictured is the brilliant Timothée Chalamet in his battleground gear. The monumental fight scene would be far less than amazing, if it were not for the incredible outfits worn by the cast.

Brooklyn McDermott-Hyland, Staff Reporter

Timothée Chalamet revealed himself to be the shining star that he portrayed as King Henry V. Director David Michôd’s The King, reimagines Shakespeare’s Henriad plays, bringing them to the screen as a modern version of entertainment available centuries ago. Casting directors, Des Hamilton and Francine Maisler knew exactly what they were doing when they hired academy award nominee Timothée Chalamet. His wonderful expression of emotion and overcoming of struggles made this otherwise subpar movie, a whole lot better.

Towards the beginning of the movie, the disobedience was very apparent within Prince Hal’s (Timothée Chalamet) soul. While Hal denies his father’s (Ben Mendelsohn) thrown, his younger brother Thomas (Dean-Charles Chapman) rises to the challenge. Being on the battlefield to take down his father’s newest enemy, Percy Hotspur (Tom Glynn-Carney), Thomas gets very agitated and embarrassed describing how Hal was stealing his spotlight when Hal completed a one on one fight with Hotspur. This scene established a strong power struggle between an older and younger brother, which can be easily relatable to anyone who has siblings themselves.

Prince Hal gets the very troubling news that his brother Thomas was killed shortly after when he had a battle of his own in Wales. As Prince Hal’s future obstructions await him as king, he decides to give his dying father a piece of his mind. In this scene, Chalamet exuberates strong and power-filled anger that then turns to sadness in such a smooth transition. Chalamet’s performance surely was not lacking in the emotional havoc that was brought upon poor Prince Hal, who lived life amongst commoners with a raging alcohol problem.

Joel Edgerton and Timothée Chalamet in The King (2019)
Photo by: Netflix
Pictured is Prince Hal, who would later become King Henry V. Along with Chalamet, is Joel Edgerton who portrayed Falstaff. Not only was he the right-hand man, but his bravery and experience can overcome any obstacles.

Prince Hal cleans up nicely, more specifically a bowl cut which would be historically accurate for the 15th century and the clothing which was a major upgrade from the rags he started with. As the story of Hal’s rise to the crown progresses, he has to make the tough decision to go against his want and need for a peaceful kingdom. It came to the young King’s attention from William (Sean Harris) that the French hired an assassin for him. When it comes time to bring force to the French throne, the audience meets The Dauphin (Robert Pattinson). It was indeed very strange to see Pattinson’s golden curls and a heavy French accent. Pattinson did not portray the most believable Frenchman that the tale needed, regardless, his subpar performance did what he needed it to, without any extra.

Robert Pattinson and David Michôd in The King (2019)
Photo by: Netflix
Pictured is Robert Pattinson who portrays the Dauphin of France. France may have more men on their side, but King Henry V is eager to finish the fight once and for all.

Finally, after very long-awaited action this otherwise dull movie, King Henry V brings both his anger and passion to the French battlefield. He has the support from Falstaff (Joel Edgerton), his right-hand man, and the short number of men compared to the French fighters.

Evidence of an enormous transition would be the pep talk that King Henry V gives right before the major battle. In this speech, the King goes above and beyond to encourage his men to fight for their country. This is very different from when the King was trying his hardest to not have war, as he is a strong believer in keeping the peace. What helps establish the strange excitement for the battle is the very intense music. The music was very subdued throughout the entire movie and the energy of the scene is matched with the excellent instrumental. Without this fight scene, I would say that I did not care for the movie as a whole, but the scene was a monumental fight scene comparable to any successful fight scene such as the feeling when I first viewed Pattinson’s vampire fight in “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2”.

This two hour and twenty-minute long movie takes a very long time to get to the point. Without this exciting and passionate battle scene, this could be named amongst the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. As a big fan of Timothée Chalamet, I was again very impressed by his amazing performance, as he is such a versatile actor. However, Chalamet’s talent could not save this dull movie. I would not recommend this to a friend, and I would rate this movie a solid 2 out of 5 stars, with 1 being wanting to turn the movie off and 5 being wanting to watch the movie again. This movie had so much potential, but Michôd’s vision did not live up to the excitement I should have felt with the cast in this movie.