*******The King Spoilers Below*******
Timothée Chalamet stars in The King as Hal, a young prince who’s strayed from the straight and narrow. However, upon the death of his father and brother, Hal is crowned King Henry V of England. With his coronation, the new King is thrust into a world of treason, deceit, and war. After France openly mocks Henry with what amounts to a gag gift for his coronation, the country takes it a step further to send an assassin to kill the young King. Henry takes this as an outright act of war and rides with his full army in tow to fight the French.
In The King, Chalamet turns in once of his best performances yet. Call Me By Your Name is still probably his best but, this one is a close second. Toeing the line between reserved, reluctant ruler and vindictive, unflinching monarch with ease, Chalamet proves that he is no doubt the best young actor working right now. But, he’s not the only one acting his ass off as Joel Edgerton turns in a pretty incredible performance as Henry’s closest confidant and most trusted advisor. And, as part of the Pattin-aissance we’re in the midst of, Robert Pattinson has one of his most memorable roles in this one as The Dauphin of France.
Though this film is predicated mostly on strong performances, it also features one of the best action sequences put to screen in the last decade or so. It’s undoubtedly one of the best two or three that didn’t show up on Game of Thrones. The battle is claustrophobic, messy, and unnervingly realistic. There are some obvious references to the world’s most popular TV show in how it’s shot, specifically the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ episode. But, it also lingers on some of the more gruesome, brutal kills in the muddy pit longer than Thrones ever did.
Overall, The King is one of Netflix’s best forays into the historical epic genre. Though it doesn’t have quite the same playfulness to its dialogue and cinematography as last year’s criminally-overlooked Outlaw/King. What it loses there is more than made up for with stronger performances, a heavier emphasis on impactful cinematography and a much stricter adherence to realism, specifically in its battle sequence.
The King is available to stream on Netflix right now.