17 August 2015

The Hollow Crown - Richard II

The Hollow Crown – Richard II
  • Director: Rupert Goold
  • Based on the play by William Shakespeare
  • Cast: Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Patrick Stewart, David Morrissey, Clémence Poèsy, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hughes, David Bradley, Richard Bremmer, Lucian Msamati, James Purefoy, David Suchet
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Ben Whishaw  Skyfall, The Tempest, Bright Star, I’m Not There
    • Rory Kinnear – Sky Fall, Cranford, Quantum of Solace
    • Patrick Stewart – Extras, X-Men, Star Trek (I don’t remember which one), Ex Calibur, I Claudius, Hamlet
    • David Morrissey –  South Riding, Nowhere Boy, The Other Boleyn Girl, Derailed, Born Romantic, Hilary and Jackie, Our Mutual Friend, Waterland
    • Clémence Poèsy – Harry Potter, In Bruges
    • Lindsay Duncan – Merlin, Wallander, Alice in Wonderland, Lost in Austen, Under the Toscan Sun, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prick Up Your Ears
    • Tom Hughes – Dancing on the Edge
    • David Bradley - the Harry Potter films, The World’s End, Another Year, Our Mutual Friend, Prick Up Your Ears
    • Richard Bremmer – Mr Turner, Les Misérables, Control, To Kill a King, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,
    • Lucian Msamati – The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Bureau
    • James Purefoy – A Knight’s Tale, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
    • David Suchet – Great Expectations, A Perfect Murder
  • Why? Shakespeare
  • Seen: 15 August 2015 

       Petulant, sensuous, hard, a pretty young king is Richard, a sly viper who surrounds himself with handsome boy sycophants.
       Lavishly and sensuously filmed with a rich variety of castles, warmly coloured interiors, English landscapes and coasts, the film brings Shakespeare’s drama alive.
       It’s a very visual, cinematic film with intense close-ups, dramatic zooms, extreme angles. There are so many powerful images that etch themselves into my senses that I’ll hardly have to see the film again.
       I will though. Hopefully many times more. Even before it’s over I want to see it again. To be mesmerised by Ben Whishaw’s masterly transformation from childish boy king to manipulative magnificence. He plays a narcissistic Richard who is keenly aware of how every nuanced shifting of his eye, every tear, every languid gesture grips and enthrals Bolingbroke, Aumerle and all the others, and us the viewers, because of its absolute honesty.
       The entire cast is superb. I have only one complaint. The overly obvious parallels to Christ are a bit of an over-kill.
       Otherwise it is a splendid interpretation of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. It’s a must-see.

6 * of 7

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