I am not familiar with the play at all but wanted to watch it anyway because it was talked about quite a lot online and also because the casting looked interesting.
To modern audiences and certainly students, Shakespeare could be seen as quite stodgy. I prefer to work visually so seeing this adaptation was a true delight. The setting was sumptuous and lavish, yet understated.
The acting talent was certainly an asset to the production, and I wasn’t really too bothered that Sophie Okendo was not of the ‘right’ ethnicity to play the role of Eleanor of Anjou. She played the role well, and that was all that mattered! It was also good to see Tom Sturridge in the role of Henry VI because I had previously seen him in the fantastic film, Far From the Madding Crowd, where he played the role of the dastardly Sgnt. Francis Troy. He was excellent in both instances.
As the film progressed I got used to the pacing and isofar I’ve found it to be very enjoyable. Some of the filming took place in the city where I live so it was rather fun identifying the settings used.
I look forward to watching the later additions to the play. Of course I don’t know the play at all prior to watching this adaptation so I didn’t notice if the writer chopped and changed with the dialogue – I was too busy getting lost in the visuals. I know I should appreciate Shakespeare’s work. And I do. Just not this particular play, that’s all.
MY RATING: ***.5 / *****