# The King (2019)

Note: This article is a work in progress.

The King

It's interesting, the sequence of events that led to me watching The King. It more so had to do with my interest in Timothée Chalamet than just browsing and stumbling on the Netflix film, so I'll first provide some backstory as to how I became mildly obsessed with him.

# Background

It was Fall of 2016 and I was a Junior attending the University of Central Florida. I was at a mini camping festival event called Tent City put on by a progressive activist club called Campus Peace Action. It was a fun time full of great poeple and it was easy to talk to and meet strangers at this event with how friendly everyone was. It was here that by chance I overheard a conversation being had between two guys; someone was explaining in great detail a fascinating story. I was intrigued by this tale of space-faring civilzations, humans with computer-like thinking abilities and a spice resource that could grant prescience to the user.

I am talking, of course, about Dune.

# Dune

Dune (opens new window) was the first book in a series mostly written by Frank Herbert in 1965 (with some further expansion to the series written by his son Brian Herbert after his father's death). As such an early icon in science fiction literature, it has inspired (opens new window) many works of science fiction which are today consider staples of the genre. Works such as Alien, Star Wars, Blade Runner, and 2001: A Space Odessy.

There's a lot of history to Dune that I could go over, but I'll save it for when I inevitably do a case study on the film releasing later this year.

Suffice it to say, after reading the book I had become very interested in rumblings in Hollywood of director Denis Villeneuve (opens new window) in talks to direct a movie adaptation. I had previously been impressed with his movie Arrival and Blade Runner: 2049 and couldn't think of a director with a better track record for sci-fi movies.

I felt that Star Wars had begun to turn stale and was looking forward to the development of a new sci-fi franchise.

Fast forward to late 2020 and the trailer for the movie drops. And it is HYPE.

Among the star-studded cast are some actors whom I greatly admire: Poe Dameron (opens new window) from Star Wars, Thanos (opens new window), the psychotic assassin (opens new window) from No Country for Old Men, Aquaman (opens new window), and the new MJ (opens new window) from Spider-Man.

And yet, among these great actors is one I'm not familiar with: our boy Timmy.

# Timothée Chalamet

Just from the Dune trailer alone it's obvious from the gativas with which Chalamet portrays the character of Paul Atreides the depth talent he posesses as an actor.

As I was swept up in the hype of the new Dune movie trailer, I started doing my own research into the movie to tide me over until it's release. I joined a book club (opens new window), read some articles and looked into what information I could find on the production process of the movie. As I did this, I found myself watching more and more interviews of Chalamet and learning about his career. I found one interesting interview between Timothée Chalamet and Emma Stone (opens new window) and I was really impressed with how genuine he seemed.

At the time, I had also received the latest issue of GQ, which featured none other than our boy Timmy. I've always enjoyed reading magazine articles as they are usually a more insightful form of interview and found the cover story on him to be no different.

Timothée Chalamet on the cover of GQ, November 2020

It turns out, Timothée Chalamet had also played a role in another film I thoroughly enjoyed: Interstellar. He played the son at the beginning of the movie.

I still wanted to watch something he had played a leading role in, however. I decided to go out of my way to watch a movie with surprising parallels to Dune.

# History

The King

While The King is based on real events, the film itself is actually an adaptation of Shakespeare's plays dramatizing these events. The collection of these plays are called The Henriad (opens new window).

These plays consist of Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V and follows Prince Hal (opens new window), who becomes King Henry V of England (opens new window), the epic's hero.

While some creative liberties (opens new window) have been taken, it mostly reflects the historic events of the Hundred Years' War (opens new window).

# The King

I've already spent a lot of time setting up pretext to the movie, so I'm only going to briefly review some of the themes I've found interesting about the movie. I'm mostly going to focus on certain scenes within the movie that touch on the following themes: The Church and it's power and influence over the crown, censorship, responsibility, and the horrors of war.

# The Battle of Shrewsbury (opens new window)

The movie begins over a bloodied battlefield, following Henry Percy (opens new window), young "Hotspur", across it. He stops beside a wounded soldier, slowly crawling across the field.

"Where go you, my friend? You're crawling in the wrong direction. That wind you feel is coming from England."

He points with his sword.

"Scotland's that way."

He stands over the man and drives his sword through him, ending his misery.

So begins the movie: With the death of a single soldier-- a prelude to the significance of death throughout the film.

To be continued...

Tags: Case Study Movie
Last Updated: 6/1/2021, 5:55:34 PM