Danish director Gabriel Axel sets out to tell the real history of the sixth century King of Jutland(Denmark) moving away from the Anglesized version of the story by Shakespeare and giving a better feeling version. I, like many people was not sure what to expect when I ordered the DVD, having just seen the American title (Royal Deceit) and being fascinated by it. Little did I know what treat was in store. Gabriel Byrne again proves why he is one of our busier actors today as the malevolent Fenge, plotting treachery behind every smile. And Christian Bale is just outstanding as the supposed mad second son of the dead King of Jutland. Helen Mirren is up to her usual standards as the queen, and Kate Beckinsale is always a delight, especially in this role, so different than her characters in "Underworld" and "Van Helsing." It is also a pleasure to see Brian Cox ("X-Men II) in one of his rare good guy roles. It is not a big or a long film, but a well crafted, tightly directed gem of a film, especially for those whose tastes run to the historical.