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The King Movie Review: Timothée Chalamet Sheds Off His Dreamy Heartthrob Persona

The King Movie Review: Timothée Chalamet Sheds Off His Dreamy Heartthrob Persona

Netflix's new film The King shows Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V of England. The film also stars Joel Edgerton and Robert Pattinson in pivotal roles.


Antara Kashyap

The King

Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson

Director: David Michôd

Netflix's new film, The King, based on William Shakespeare’s Henriad plays, tells the tale of a wayward prince who unwillingly takes his kingdom to war immediately after becoming king. Timothée Chalamet plays young prince Hal, who has cut off ties with his royal lineage and lives with an equally messy knight John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton). His inept and gravely ill father, King Henry IV of Wales, played by Ben Mendelsohn, whose policies seem to be the reason for the Prince’s behaviour, declares that Hal will never be king and the latter shows no interest in the crown. However, he is dragged into the line of duty when his father wages a battle with an ally, and his brother and would-be king loses his life in the process.

Hal, who is now King Henry V, tries his best to not be what his father was, but he is forced to lead his kingdom to war with France.

From very early on, the screenplay by Michôd and Edgerton, tries to portray Hal or Henry V as an able ruler, even though he has lost his way for a while. Hence it doesn’t come as a surprise when the same person who “wholly ignores" urgent messages from the palace becomes a brooding and intelligent leader who will most definitely not repeat his father’s steps.

It is interesting to see Chalamet in this form as he usually plays a dreamy teenager who is coming of age. Chalamet makes an interesting King with his looks showing that he is still an adolescent, which is exactly why he must work harder for the people around him to trust his leadership. Chalamet does his best, given what he is instructed.

One of the best written characters is Joel Edgerton’s Falstaff. This character too, switches from being drunk and broke to being a mighty knight who is the king’s best advisor. Even when he is drunk he has the most profound lines. Edgerton pulls off the character arc quite well.

Robert Pattinson however, upstages Chalamet in his fifteen minutes of screen-time. Playing the evil and sadistic Prince of France who doesn't flinch before beheading. His English accent is awful, and he will only speak in it, which actually makes it a genius move in creating a annoyance against the character from the very beginning. With film choices like The Lighthouse and the newly announced Batman, his character in The King shows that he has left his Edward Cullen days behind and is truly a chameleon.

With the subject matter of The King, it is not surprising that it is a highly masculine film. There are around three female characters who get dialogues and that includes Lilly Rose Depp. The trailer definitely lies when it comes to Depp, as she is but false advertisement for the film. However, the two lines that she gets brings about a major plot twist in the film, so we guess we will take the consolation prize.

David Michôd's directional highlights are definitely in the battle scenes, which are executed brilliantly. Visually too, the film is a treat, be it the grimy moors of England or vast battlefield of France. However, the indoor scenes of the film are too dark and remind us of the “their TV screens have not been adjusted right” stance taken by the Game of Thrones makers.

The King is a good watch, probably not as moving and unforgettable as many of Chalamet’s films, but it serves its purpose well.

Rating: 3/5

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