So I clicked on this new movie on Netflix called “The King,” curious to know which king. The promo blurb gave me a clue:
Yesterday, he was a drunken fool. Today, he’s king…
Sounds like Henry V, right? Well, it is.
And here’s the weird thing about it… I watched a few minutes, and rather than being some historical Henry V freshly drawn from independent sources — or fantastical one drawn from the writer’s imagination — it’s basically (so far) the Hal from the plays (I say “plays,” plural, because I can’t recall which bits are in the Henry IV plays, and which in “Henry V.” I’m especially mixed up for having watched “The Hollow Crown” straight through.). It even has Falstaff in it, a fictional character invented by Shakespeare. I haven’t watched long enough to see whether Doll Tearsheet is mentioned.
So, it’s “Henry V,” only with no iambic pentameter. In other words, a wonderful play, without the thing that makes it wonderful.
You know, sometimes I feel like I get popular culture, and I really get into it, but other times I don’t. This is one of the other times…
Anyway, here’s a dose of the real thing: