10 October 2016

The Hollow Crown Richard III

The Hollow Crown – Richard III 2016
  • Director: Dominic Cooke
  • Based on the plays by William Shakespeare
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okonedo, Keeley Hawes, Judi Dench, Ben Daniels, Ivanno Jeremiah, Phoebe Fox
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in
    • Benedict Cumberbatch – August Osage County, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Small Island, Creation, The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement, Amazing Grace, Starter for 10, To Kill a King
    • Sophie Okonedo – The Slap, Skin, Hotel Rwanda, Dirty Pretty Things
    • Keeley Hawes – Upstairs Downstairs, Under the Greenwood Tree, Macbeth Retold, Tristram Shandy, Our Mutual Friend, Cold Lazarus, Karaoke
    • Judi Dench - Philomena, Spectre, Hotel Marigold 2, Vicious, Hotel Marigold, My Week with Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Jane Eyre, Cranford, Nine, Quantum of Silence, Notes on a Scandal, Casino Royale, Mrs Henderson Presents, Ladies in Lavender, Die Another Day, The Shipping News, Chocolat, The World is Not Enough, Tea with Mussolini, Shakespeare in Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Mrs Brown, Hamlet, Golden Eye, Middlemarch, Henry V, A Handful of Dust, A Room with a View, Macbeth, 84 Charing Cross Road
    • Ben Daniels – Merlin
    • Ivanno Jeremiah - Humans
  • Why? Shakespeare
  • Seen: 8 October 2016 
By now we’ve seen several Richard IIIs, a charming Richard, a smarmy arched-eyebrowed Richard, a chatty matey Richard, a subdued Richard who whispers, ‘A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.’
In the Hollow Crown Henry VI Part Two Benedict Cumberbatch gave signs of being a hateful crazed Richard. Here he smiles a lot, when he’s not spitting in rage.
There is a lot of dramatic music, running down wide stone stairways in flowing robes, dark and shadowy interiors and meaningful close-up facials, but the first hour goes slowly and fails to grip.
We watch Richard gradually, then more quickly, lose his sanity, but Cumberbatch rather overdoes the insanity bit.
Okonedo, Hawes, Dench and Fox are all very good as the various queens. They make it possible for Cumberbatch to do, at times, a decent Richard. Without them, sorry, he’s not a very strong Richard. But then Richard is such a magnificent character that it’s a tall order for any actor to do him justice.  Maybe it’s too much to expect any one actor to portray a charming, arched-eyebrowed, chatty, matey, subdued and whispering Richard.  It would take, say a…David Tennant. Now that I would dearly like to see.

3 ½ * of 5 

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