Henry V

1989

Action / Biography / Drama / History / Romance / War

72
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 25257

Synopsis


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Cast

Christian Bale as Robin the Luggage-Boy
Kenneth Branagh as King Henry V
Judi Dench as Mistress Nell Quickly
Emma Thompson as Princess Katherine de Valois
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
929.55 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 4 / 34
2.06 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 5 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Filipe Neto 7 / 10

A great film that honors the work of Shakespeare

This film is an adaptation of a play written by William Shakespeare, and was the cinematographic debut of Kenneth Branagh. Although the purists continue to think that cinema is no place for Shakespeare, Branagh has shown that they're wrong. This film does full justice to Shakespeare's text, keeping dialogues with a fairly small margin of modification. Of course this is a risk, in cinema adaptations are truly imperative, but the fact is that there were very few moments when I felt the spoken text getting heavy, boring or left over. So it was worked well.

The focus here is the military incursion that Henry V of England makes on French soil, determined to end the Hundred Years War by joining the French and English crowns over his head. By exploiting the weakness of the French king, Charles VI, who suffered from dementia, and the little military experience of the Dauphin (future Charles VII), the English succeeded in defeating a numerically superior force in the Battle of Agincourt and forcing a highly favorable peace in 1415, by the marriage of the English king with the daughter of the French king and an agreement, in which both crowns would be inherited by the first son to be born of this marriage. Of course, as we know, this union would never happen... Henry V dies too early, his heir is crowned in diapers and a girl, Joan of Arc, would provoke a decisive turnaround that guaranteed the breaking of these agreements and protected French independence.

The film is visually great and historically accurate, both in the choice of sets and in the making of costumes, which are excellent. For me, the battle and the final scenes were the best part of the film. I liked the way the battle was recreated by the great historical care shown, and to avoid falling into the error of appealing to English patriotism. War is never good for anyone. The only people who can find war a good thing are those who have never seen one, or who expect to profit at their expense. Thus, some nostalgia is felt here, especially in the scenes in which the dead are buried. The rest of the film is also good, but dark scenarios and somewhat hazy cinematography didn't help. Branagh reserved the main role for himself and shone with a very good performance. Judy Dench was wonderful too, but this veteran is almost always flawless. Derek Jacobi masterfully secured the role of narrator.

Reviewed by Eric Stevenson 10 / 10

Good ol' Shakespeare

It's kind of weird how what many people consider to be one of the best Shakespeare movies ever made was actually based on one of his lesser known plays. Scratch that. It was based on a true story based on one of the lesser known kings. To be fair, I'm pretty sure Henry V was probably the second most famous kind to bear that title, after of course Henry VIII. This is a story about the Hundred Year's War. Most people are probably unfamiliar with this apart from the fact that it made Joan of Arc famous. It was known for how the English won most of the battles, but the French won the war.

Historically, that actually does happen sometimes. This movie/play focuses on pretty much every historical aspect you could imagine. I thought that the only thing it was truly missing was some sort of romance and at the end, guess what I got? What makes this film a classic is how beautiful everything looks. It makes you appreciate everything about Shakespeare and classic literature in general. Well, classic theater. I guess that can count as literature, right? I've noticed that Shakespeare used the word "thrice" a lot. People should use that more!

It's quite long, but it's worth every minute. For all the drama, we also get some great authentic action scenes. The slow motion is used very well and it's great to see it being used in a battle before guns were invented. That was quite unique. We get a lot of discussions about royalty, religion, and many other relevant topics. It's great that there's so much going on. This is a great representation of history and all its violence. I'm still going to say the 1948 Hamlet version was my favorite Shakespeare film but this is the second. ****

Reviewed by chaswe-28402 3 / 10

I wouldn't follow Branagh to Clapham

Pathetic attempt to match Olivier's 1944 masterpiece. Not quite as dreadful as Kenneth's later abysmal Hamlet, but sufficiently dire to be given a deliberate miss. From the moment you see a retarded teenager, just out of his egg, with lipstick and a comic modern haircut, shifting uneasily on his throne, you know you're in for a disaster. The enthusiasm for this appalling mess totally mystifies me. One truly good part was performed by the French herald, Montjoy, who actually dignified his role. The only other respectable part was played by Scofield, a genuine actor, as the French King. This could not be said of Branagh, who misdelivered and massacred every one of his speeches. Didn't he understand what he was shouting ? The flashbacks with Falstaff were simply grotesque. The pub regulars, Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, etc, resembled fugitives from a leper's colony. Brian Blessed came on as some sort of metal monster robot escaped out of Gotham City. Was he having Branagh on ? The remaining members of the tatterdemalion English contingent looked like a makeshift street-gang of undernourished jailbirds. Jacobi was adequate as the chorus, no more.

The battle scenes were meaningless, ludicrous and interminable. Incredibly difficult to understand what was going on, but the English foot soldiers apparently charged headlong into the massed French cavalry. After that, the archers sent showers of arrows into the carnage. Fortunately, the arrows managed to pick out all the French, and spare the English. Remarkable; perhaps the shafts were fitted with special sensors. Although the comparative statistics of the slaughter were read out in the aftermath, there was no indication whatsoever of how these staggering figures had been achieved. The Olivier version indicated very clearly that it was the archers who had decisively won the day, long before there was any hand-to-hand fighting. And what about the ridiculous purse-stealing in the middle of the melée ?

This wasn't Shakespeare. There's some sort of generation gap in connection with the praise heaped on Sir Kenneth Branagh. I just don't get it.

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