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The epic Netflix movie that will captivate you until the last second

On a beautiful day – most of the time not so beautiful – we all come face to face with ourselves. Not infrequently, as the cliché goes, we stand in front of the mirror, take a deep breath and search within ourselves for the courage that will not fail us in the face of such a challenge, we ask ourselves the killer question: “what do we want for my life?”.

In the case of actors – and above all actors who start very early in the craft – this very special, even visceral question must be answered in a compelling way, so as not to waste years of hard work, always scrutinized with the eyes of the lynx by the critics, the bêtes noires , who vampirize the elan of others and live to envy actors, especially the well-caught ones, even if they are getting old. Timothée Chalamet had definitely had her day as Snow White’s evil queen, and her mirror must not have lied to her.

It turns out that Chalamet is much more than a pretty boy, as his filmography makes clear. Through more than two dozen works on the big screen, the French-American always presented himself impeccably in roles that highlighted his aristocratic aura, although the more, shall we say, popular side of the character stood out. In “The King” (2019), directed by David Michôd, co-writer of the screenplay with Joel Edgerton, also present in the cast, the nobleman receives a well-deserved promotion and becomes none other than the sovereign of England.

For the writing of “The King”, Michôd and Edgerton took as a starting point the classic plays of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), which depict the period when Henry V (1386-1422) remained at the head of the English kingdom. Chalamet certainly has a much more harmonious appearance than the figure he represents – especially if it is a story set in the middle of the Middle Ages, a time when it was common to die of typhus, cholera, smallpox, or, if it lasted a little longer, to present the consequences of such a delay in civilization (Henry V himself did not go very far, dying sixteen days before his 36th birthday of dysentery [!]according to historians and Elizabeth I [1533-1603] her face was so disfigured by scars from a dermatological disease that she was forced to wear multiple layers of makeup, as seen in “Two Queens” [2018]by Josie Rourke) – but in some engravings of the time the resemblance between the two is noticeable.

A theater creator, Timothée Chalamet, is much more like Laurence Olivier (1907-1989), Colin Firth and Malcolm McDowell, big names on the British stage in that order, not coincidentally the three famous for giving life to monarchs. In “The King” he is perhaps most remembered for the greatest of them, Olivier, for his incomplete transition from an insignificant boy to a man driven by an ideal. As is well known, this drive of Hamlet is taken by its negative aspect, or by what Freud calls the death drive, and the Prince of Denmark ends up taking the break. Henry V, and his interpreter shows it, is a much more balanced man, and becomes a worthy head of state, attentive to the demands of his people, and dispensing humane treatment to his enemies, despite England being soaked to the bone in the mud. from the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453), fighting against France and taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the death of Charles IV, the Gallic ruler, in 1328. In this regard, the director stages with astonishing realism many confrontations between the two armies, emphasizing the sequences, that records the Battle of Agincourt, October 25, 1415, decisive for England, choreographed to appreciate sword strikes against armor whose resistance had limits.

Shakespeare was a writer of wide popular reach, and “The King” capitalizes on this predicate. Rightly, the film avoids Elizabethan English, although it uses a somewhat affected form of the language, which fits very well in a narrative whose original proposal is to focus on the legacy of one of the greatest representatives of the monarchy in history. England (for excellence the land of ceremonial kingdoms too much), died six hundred years ago. Joel Edgerton, co-writer of the production, is convincing in the role of Falstaff, an adviser to Henry the 5th from the Bard’s pen, but the same cannot be said for Robert Pattinson, artificially farcical as the Dauphin of France.

In fact, “The King’s” big asset is Timothée Chalamet. With all due respect, it can be said that, like “Call Me By Your Name” (2017), by Luca Guadagnino, David Michôd’s film also lends itself to a kind of coming-of-age of Chalamet, with the difference being that here he has already covering himself in the thick leather required for a job of this magnitude, and is no longer a dull and insecure boy suffering from love – and that is a mandraca that few people in his chosen profession are capable of . Long live Timothée Chalamet, who continues to give something to talk about now in other dimensions, as seen in “Dune” (2021), by Denis Villeneuve.


Movie: King
Direction: David Michod
Year: 2019
Genres: Historical film
Note: 9/10

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