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The King

A film about Henry V

by Jeff Herbert

I recently watched The King, on Netflix where it is a recent listing.  I have mixed feelings about the film but all in all it is an opportunity lost by the Film Making Industry.  I noted that the Director Co-wrote the script and it is mainly with the historical content that the film fails.
Nicely filmed, and probably great to watch at the Cinema,great costumes, settings, scenery and acting... but alas a great disregard to History.
There is no battle of Shrewsbury, per se, instead Henry fights a young Hotspur in one armed combat.  Henry IV is sick in bed at home.  So although Hotspur dies, Henry was not shot in the face with an arrow and did not undergo one of the greatest medical operations of Medieval times. His only younger brother mentioned in the film died in Wales (he actually outlived Henry, as did all his brothers).  In reality his brothers were very loyal to him and one became Regent for his son when Henry died.  Sir John Falstaff (Shakespeare's) totally fictional character was elevated by Hollywood to the Marshal of the English Army.  Complete dross as No Feudal Lord would take orders from a commoner, even a knighted one.
Harfluer appeared more as a Castle than a Town and I don't think was named, the attack on Harfluer and the great march should have been portrayed better and I doubt if many viewer understood what was happening.  Certainly the fact that his army was slowly decaying and the worn out trek to Calais  was not clearly shown.  It was more like a nice Summer school outing. When Agincourt is shown, history completely goes out of the window, the deployments are wrong, there are no stakes for the archers.  The French Knights were all mounted, rather than the majority on foot.  The attack on Henry's camp is not shown or mentioned.  
The Dauphin is hacked to death in front of Henry.  Not bad as the Dauphin stayed home with Daddy. 
Again... a chance lost to make a very good film, still watchable but ...

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