Sunday, November 3, 2019

Shakespeare on Netflix

And now here is someone’s review of and my reaction to Shakespeare on Netflix:
The King, streaming on Netflix today, is an amalgam of Shakespeare’s history plays—Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V—in a way that sort of feels like the Marvel-fication of the Bard. Smoothed down into an easily digestible two-hour origin story that ditches the iambic pentameter for a script by Aussie director David Michôd (Animal KingdomThe Rover) and co-writer/co-star Joel EdgertonThe King reimagines the classic Shakespeare fool Falstaff (Edgerton) as a battle-hardened, reluctant action hero and the French Dauphin (played with verve by Robert Pattison) as a campy comic book villain. It certainly loses a bit of the poetry, scope, and drama of the source material for something that feels like a straight-forward coming-of-age tale that will feel familiar for modern audiences. Still, with solid performances and fine direction, it’s perfectly suitable entertainment. — Continue reading via this link. 
Personal Postscript — I won’t be watching this “suitable entertainment “ for “modern audiences.” I will persist in being a non-modern conservative fan of Shakespeare who prefers performances in productions faithful to canonical scripts. Yes, I reject the “easily digestible” Netflix offering, and I choose instead renderings faithful to what might have been seen at The Globe in Elizabethan-Jacobean London.


  1. it had to happen sometime: the Hollywood treatment... the dumbing down of America...

    1. The dumbing down has a long track record ... my former students, when assigned Shakespeare, often choose to read something like this instead:

    2. Correction: chose not choose .... damned autocorrect