Not much has been happening lately in my life except for a bunch of doctors’ appointments. Luckily they have been about nothing that will kill me anytime soon! 🙂
I’ve been binge-watching things on Amazon Prime– for example:
1. The French mystery-thriller about a little boy in the French port city of LeHavre who insists that his parents are not his real parents (“Mother Is Wrong,” with English subtitles). It is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time;
2. An Icelandic series about a small firm of lawyers in Reykjavik and their clients (“The Court,” also with English subtitles);
3. And a series about journalists for two newspapers in London battling each other for recognition, called “Press.” It needs a second season, now!
Last night I watched the Netflix film, “The King,” about Henry V, earlier supposedly known to his cronies as “Prince Hal.”
One of my favorite actors, Timothee Chalamet, stars as Henry V of England. Great liberties are taken with documented history here, which is par for the course in movies about the Middle Ages. It was fairly good, with some stellar performances, but not a five-star effort in total.
Once this Henry V ascends the throne, he is quite a brooding guy. I’ve seen and admired Chalamet in other roles, including his starring role in “Call Me By Your Name,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor at the ripe old age of 20.
Unfortunately, the writing in “The King” doesn’t give him much scope to show what he can do.
In actuality the boy who grew up to be crowned Henry V had probably been on the battlefield since puberty, if not before. That is only hinted at here. Instead we get the “wastrel Prince Hal,” which is a notion that came from Shakespeare’s fevered imagination (or else that of the person who actually wrote the plays, if you believe any of the “Shakespeare stole his material from someone else” theories).
Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, plays Henry’s affianced French bride. There is a definite Depp look they share. Her Princess Catherine character gives Chalamet’s King Henry the what-for: she won’t stand for any grandstanding on his part. Although I enjoyed this from a feminist point of view, I also found it to be very unlikely and anachronistic.
Sir John Falstaff, the fictional character created by Shakespeare in his history plays about Henry IV and Henry V, plays a pivotal role in this movie. Here he is not a buffoon, but rather an esteemed fighter and adviser to Henry V; that is, after they both give up the dissolute ways they enjoyed while Henry IV was still on the throne.
Joel Edgerton, who also shares production and writing credits for the movie, does a great job with this particular Falstaff. Brad Pitt was another of the producers.
Earlier I had binged through all six seasons of “Downton Abbey” on Netflix, and once I got through them, I went to see the movie of the same name that continued the story. It was a bit of a let-down, mostly because you can’t pack as much character development and plot in two hours as you can in an entire season, or six!, of shows featuring the same cast of characters as they develop over time.
I’ve also been reading a lot, but I’ll save my comments, if any, on the books I’ve enjoyed until a later post.