Aging King George III of England (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) is exhibiting signs of madness, a problem little understood in 1788. As the monarch alternates between bouts of confusion and near-violent outbursts of temper, his hapless doctors attempt the ineffectual cures of the day. Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte (Dame Helen Mirren) and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (Julian Wadham) attempt to prevent the King's political enemies, led by the Prince of Wales (Rupert Everett), from usurping the throne.Written by
A darkly film, not quite your Three Musketeers "history" piece
I positively loved Hawthorne in this movie, thanks to him King's madness is quite palpable, emotional rather then clinical. Ian Holm charms as always - this time as a rather driven/bordering on sadism "doctor", whose elaborate system of punishment was impressed on King George by sadistic and yet so well meaning party of the King. Nice thing about this movie is the absense of the clear-cut villains - even the Prince ain't that bad. It's rather a story of one's power slipping away from everywhere but the very surface, a fable of the King in no more than the name, driven to the edge of misery by intrusive politicians and abusive doctors. As such it has it's depressing moments - don't expect a Hollywoodish romp of the Iron Mask or Musketeers.
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