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King Lear (1999)

 -  Drama
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 62 users  
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King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Hildegard Neil ...
...
Phillipa Peak ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Balderstone ...
Cornwall's Captain
Mark Burgess ...
Edgar
John Corvin ...
Gentleman
Paul Curran ...
Mark Denny ...
David Dexter ...
2nd Messenger
Billy Hanna ...
1st Knight
...
Claire Laurie ...
Caroline Lennon ...
...
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King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Cheap but competent
17 December 2005 | by (Enschede, NL) – See all my reviews

There are many adaptations of King Lear for the silver screen or the TV screen. So a question one has to ask is: what makes this version so special? The answer is: nothing at all.

Even in the first scene, it is made clear that this was a very low-budget production. The entire look-and-feel of the film is cheap. The costumes look like they were rented from the local fun shop, the sets are slightly better than high school quality and the exteriors are too clearly computer-drawn. Luckily, the acting is not of that quality. I especially liked Neil (the Fool), Robertson (Kent) and Riddington (Edmund). For me, these three made the film work, despite its shortcomings in terms of setting and props.

King Lear is an incredibly powerful story. No wonder it has been adapted for mass-viewing numerous times. This version does not depend on expensive costumes and amazing special effects. Instead, the actors made sure there is enough to look at for three hours, which is the right amount of time for any of Shakespeare's plays.


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