The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »
An excellent play and a sound interpretation of it.
The movie has a really good cast that understands its lines and knows how to speak Shakespeare. From the realistic performance of the dying King Henry, to the characteristically bumbling Falstaff, to the brave and valiant Prince Hal, I thoroughly enjoyed their performances.
This version is surprisingly good as a stand-alone movie - although it is based completely on the play (a third part out of four), it manages to give the viewer an understanding of what was before it and what is to come. It helps to know the background or have read the play, but I didn't find it necessary to read along to their lines in order to understand what was happening.
I most enjoyed the scene of the death of the King and least enjoyed the idiotic messing around of Falstaff - but I have to give credit to the director; those were the very feelings I had about the play. Overall, it manages to be more than a decent interpretation of Shakespeare and a good way to spend two hours of your time.
The DVD, though, is not so great: the sound is pretty bad, the chapters are arranged annoyingly, and it occasionally flickers (not due to my player). I recommend watching the VHS, an inherently inferior format though it mostly is.
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