The King is a 2019 historical drama film based on several plays from William Shakespeare’s “Henriad”. It is directed by David Michôd and written by Michôd and Joel Edgerton. The film stars Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V, with Edgerton, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Robert Pattinson, and Ben Mendelsohn.
It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2019, and was released on 11 October 2019 in selected theatres, before being put up for digital streaming on 1 November 2019, by Netflix.
Starring : Timothy Chalamet, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Dipp, Robert Pattinson
Director : David Michod
Genre : Historical Drama
Age Restriction : 18 years || Duration : 2 hrs 20 mins
Budget : 260 Millions (USD) || Release Date : 11 October 2019 (USA)
Henry Prince of Wales (called “Hal” by his close friends) is the emotionally distant eldest and wastrel son of King Henry IV of England. Hal is uninterested by his father’s war policies, and spends his days drinking and jesting with companion John Falstaff in East cheap. His father summons Hal and informs him that Hal’s younger brother, Thomas, will inherit the throne instead of Hal. Thomas is sent to subdue Hotspur’s rebellion, but is upstaged by the arrival of Hal, who engages Hotspur in single combat. The sword fight descends into an armoured fistfight and Hal kills Hotspur with a dagger. Although this decides the battle without further conflict, Thomas complains that Hal has stolen all the glory. Not long after, Thomas dies in further battle in Wales.
Henry IV dies in his bed with Hal present, and Hal is crowned King Henry V. Hal is determined not to be like his father, opting for peace and conciliation despite his actions being seen as weakness. Meanwhile, the Dauphin of France sends a ball, an insulting and emasculating coronation gift to Hal; however, Hal chooses to see this as a positive reflection of his own youth.
Hal takes a walk with his young sister Philippa, now the Queen of Denmark, in a green field below a castle. She asks after his well-being and he tells her he wants to bring an end to the unrest in the kingdom then tells him that she could feel the calm he desires at the coronation celebration dinner the previous evening. She adds too that she believes the nobles wish him well in that vision of peace, but cautions him that nobles in any royal court have their own interests in mind and will hold from revealing their full truths.
A captured assassin is interrogated in French by Hal and claims to be sent by King Charles VI of France to assassinate Hal. The English nobles Cambridge and Grey are approached by French agents, hoping to induce them to the French cause, their trust in the new young king waivers and they then approach Hal’s Chief Justice, William Gascoigne with their concerns. William advises the young king that a show of strength is necessary to unite England, so to prove his competency, Hal declares war on France and has Cambridge and Grey beheaded.
The English army set sail for France, with Hal at the forefront and Falstaff as his captain. After successfully taking Harfleur, they continue on the campaign, but are followed by the Dauphin, who repeatedly tries to provoke Hal. The English advance parties stumble upon a huge French army gathering to face them. Dorset advises Hal to retreat, due to the superiority of the French, but Falstaff proposes a false advance, luring the French to rush forward into the mud, where they will be weighed down by their heavy armor and horses. They will then be attacked by the English longbowmen and surrounded by a large flanking force hidden in the nearby woods.
Hal goes to the Dauphin and offers to fight in single combat to decide the outcome of the battle, but the Dauphin refuses. The Battle of Agincourt commences, with Hal in the thick of the fighting. The plan works and the outnumbered English army overpowers the French, though Falstaff is killed on the front lines. The Dauphin enters the fray to challenge Hal, but is humiliated and easily defeated.
Following the decisive victory, the English continue deeper into France. Hal reaches King Charles VI, who offers his surrender and the hand of his daughter Catherine. Hal returns to England with his new wife for the celebrations. He comes to her room to have a conversation and it quickly turns into a frank one that shows her strength of character and also causes him to question his military decisions because she challenges Hal’s reasons for invading France. Hal realizes that the supposed French insult and acts of aggression against England were staged and caused by his chief Justice Gascoigne to goad Hal into war. Hal confronts Gascoigne and upon confirming his suspicions, proceeds to fatally stab him. He then returns to Catherine, asks her to always speak the truth to him, and takes both her hands in his. Meanwhile outside the palace, people cheer “King Henry, King Henry” to celebrate his victory over the French.