Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V" was a confusing fast paced movie modeled after
William Shakespeare's "Henry V." Shakespeare's writings enveloped one's senses captivating their attention urging them to read on. Branagh's version dragged the viewer on to the next scene without having a complete understanding of what was occurring in the movie.
The movie centered on the war between the English and the French. The French believed they would have no problem dominating over the English. King Henry (Kenneth Branagh), the leader of the English, is mocked and not taken seriously due to his past. Even more so the king now has something to prove. Hal Hinson hit it right on the nose when he said, "Harry is straight-faced and devout and determined, a man with something to prove." The movie does show the power of speech as Henry encourages his troops leading them to victory at the Battle of Agincourt, which I enjoyed very much.
Much of the spoken text was difficult to understand either because the actors were speaking to quickly, or because the music got in the way. I agree with Robert Ebert when he described the same problem I encountered as, "distractingly intrusive music, which only gets in the way of the words." The narrator did however help a little with the confusion. The characters in this movie were easily confused due to the fact that so many of them look alike. With so many characters in this play one would hope they would be easily distinguished.
The exception to this being King Henry played by Kenneth Branagh.
Branagh did a wonderful job representing King Henry V. Many of Henry's monologues are expressed extremely well. The two best being the two most famous, the monologue that got his enemies to surrender as he painted such a horrific picture of war, and the monologue he spoke to his troops for inspiration on St. Crispian's Day.
I enjoyed the last scene of the movie where Henry is shown wooing the princess of... [continues]
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