Thursday, September 22, 2011

Henry V

Branagh, 1989, 2 hrs

This is much closer to the original play than the  forties Olivier version which was moulded into a jingoist piece of wartime propoganda, cutting out several central incidents. The Henry here is more fleshed out, human in his failings, and complex as a character. It is interesting as a study in leadership. The war scenes, for all the gushing streams of blood and swathes of gore, are tiresome because one has seen them so often. They resemble a cricket match from a present day perspective, particularly since wars seem to have been framed with so many nice rules.Branagh as the king is loud even though the role demands it. This is a very adequate introduction to the play.

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