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In the opening sequence, Fairfax shoots the sword out of the hand of Cromwell's assassin with a flintlock pistol at about 30 yards range. Such pistols had no rifling at that period and were incapable of nowhere near such accuracy, even in the hands of an expert. To shoot at that range Fairfax would have been more likely to have hit the assassin. Also the bullet struck sparks from the sword hilt when it hit. This is impossible as the bullet would have been a soft lead ball and incapable of creating a spark. See more »
A modern 'Man for all seasons', exciting and compelling 10 out of 10
I was lucky enough to catch this film in a trade screening in Milan. These are the worst places to watch films as the audience talk, get up, leave, come back, use the phone,etc. - but not with To Kill A King. The screening room was still and quiet, the auditorium packed. This is a great film, it is set just at the end of the British civil war we see mountains of dead and wounded soldiers being carted off the battlefield to help set the scene. Tom Fairfax, played in his best role ever by Dougray Scott, is the General who has led his men to victory against the Kings army. His deputy Oliver Cromwell,(Tim Roth) has fought by his side all the way. These two men are inseparable, but on their victorious return to London, they find a king who is certainly not ready to roll over and give up his powers to Parliament. This is Rupert Everett's best performance. I thought I new what to expect, - that rather naughty posh thing he does so well, but I was wrong. He gives a beautifully timed complex portrayal of a man faced with the destruction of everything he believes and trusts. The execution is beautiful because it is so moving. As the King approaches the block, his calm dignity in the face of death, must turn the hearts of the most dedicated republicans. The film is really however a study of friendship and power. As the two friends walk the corridors of power, Olivers more extreme and idealised vision of a democratic Parliament conflict with Fairfax's idea of a limited monarchy. The two agree less and less, ultimately affecting their relationship and of course ends in betrayal. This was definitely an independent movie because no studio would allow this ending. The final scene between Roth and Scott is truly moving,upsetting and compelling. It has an amazing voyeuristic quality which makes you feel as if you are spying on two men who don't want to, but have to, say good bye. The production values were fantastic the sets have an epic quality not seen in the independent sector for years, the costumes and make up feel real and lived in- a real treat.
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