14 December 2015

The Hollow Crown - Henry V

The Hollow Crown – Henry V
  • Director: Thea Sharrock
  • Based on the play by William Shakespeare
  • Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Julie Walters, Anton Lesser, Paul Ritter, Tom Brook, Mélanie, Thierry, Géraldine Chaplin, John Dagliesh, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Paterson Joseph, Gwilym Lee, Lambert Wilson
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in
    • Tom Hiddleston – Henry IV Parts One and Two, The Deep Blue Sea, Thor, Wallander, Cranford,
    • Julie Walters – Henry IV Parts One and Two, Harry Potter 1-8, Mamma Mia, Becoming Jane, Driving Lessons, Wah-Wah, Calendar Girls, Billy Elliot, Titanic Town, Intimate Relations, Prick Up Your Ears, Educating Rita
    • Anton Lesser – Endeavour, Wolf Hall, Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, The Girl in the Café, Twelfth Night, King Lear,
    • Paul Ritter – Wolf Hall, Friday Night Dinner, Bletchley Circle, Great Expectations, Nowhere Boy, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Quantum of Solace, Son of Rambow, The Girl in the Café, The Libertine
    • Tom Brook – The Boat that Ricked, The Young Victoria, Hustle
    • Géraldine Chaplin – The Impossible, Jane Eyre, The Age of Innocence, Nashville, Remember My Name, Dr Zhivago
    • John Hurt – Merlin, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter, Melancholia, Brighton Rock. V for Vendetta, Manderlay, Dogville, Dead Man, Rob Roy, King Lear, The Elephant Man, Alien, I Claudius, A Man for All Seasons
    • Paterson James – Case Histories, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Rose and Maloney, The Beach
    • Gwilym Lee – The Tourist
  • Why? Shakespeare
  • Seen: 12 December 2015 

Expectations are very high because of how good the first three films in this series were. And comparisons to the Branagh version are inevitable.
It promises to be an interesting evening.
The approach is much the same as in Branagh’s film. Serious and earnest, it gives an unflinching picture of the brutality of war, and how glorious and stirring words cannot change the fundamental lack of good reason to go to war. Nor can piety.
It’s not on the grand scale of the Branagh version but its deep melancholy is stirring. And what a cast. Paul Ritter as Pistol. Richard Griffiths as the Duke of Burgundy. Julie Walters, again as Mistress Quickly. Anton Lessor as Exeter. Mélanie Thierry as Princess Katherine. The characters are brought to life before our eyes.
And Tom Hiddleston. Again. Now the king. Brought to life and in the sorrowful opening and ending scene, to death. What a performance.
Expectations fulfilled.

5 * of 5

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