Monday, January 31, 2011

Thoughts on the film Henry V

I watched the Kenneth Branagh version of "Henry V" this weekend, and I just wanted to make a brief post on my thoughts of the film. If you've seen this film let me know what you think!
  • The opening scene was possibly my favorite part with a man walking behind stage and performing the lines of the prologue, telling us to imagine two great monarchies and all the scenery that comes along with it.
  • I was shocked at how much of the original text was taken out. It was appreciated in some places, since some of the lines in this play dragged on and on. But I think that some of it should have stayed, such as the priest's plotting in the beginning and their talk of how King Henry had been transformed.
  • I thought the actors who played Nym, Pistol, Bardolph, and Hostess did a fantastic job. They made their characters likable and entertaining.
  • I realized during the movie that when the three men who betray Henry get executed, I didn't care, due to a lack of attachment that I feel Shakespeare should have secured. I don't really know much about them, therefore I wasn't too torn up when they died. I didn't feel the pain Henry felt at finding one of his closest friends plotting against him.
  • I also realized during this film, or re-realized, that the plot of Shakespeare's plays are heavily reliant on dialogue and not action. There's some movies out there where you can turn off the sound and have a basic idea of what's going on. However, this cannot be done with Shakespeare.
  • Overall, I liked it for what it was. Shakespeare was indeed meant to watched, and I enjoyed watching it far more than I liked reading it.