Choose life 5/10
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Before going in I thought I’d be completely lost in this, having not seen Henry I-IV, but I think the films must be standalone stories or something. This adaptation of Shakespeare’s royal epic (which I haven’t read, yet, and am not overly inspired to do so now) stars, and was directed by, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and uses the novel concept of being set on a stage at the Globe, complete with a heckling audience and backstage costume changes. Whilst certainly an interesting idea, this distances us from the film, in the same way as a laugh track would from a terrible sitcom, constantly reminding you that you’re watching a film. The conceit is wisely dropped for the central acts, freeing up the action for larger sets, sweeping camera movement, horses and battles. The rousing speeches are highlights, but the whole affair is dry and slow.