The Hollow Crown: Henry VI (Part II)

This adaptation of the Shakespeare play was shown on the BBC in late May 2016, alongside Henry VI part I and Richard III.

Again, I didn’t really have any knowledge of this play – aside from it being a Shakespeare work – and I tend to respond better to a visual medium when it comes to the written word so it was good to see the narrative visually played out.

The cinematography took particular delight in the bloody gore and violence therein. Of course it is supposed to be violent but at points this was particularly extreme. Nonetheless, to begin with I really didn’t feel an attachment to any of the characters. I am not biased, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Richard was very well done and a highlight of this adaptation.

However, for the most part I didn’t feel incredibly wowed by the acting. Seeing as I have no prior knowledge of the plays I can’t really judge form and content but while this adaptation was chockablock with famous faces, ultimately what matters most is their ability to act. It was certainly good seeing Andrew Scott of Sherlock fame playing the role of King Louis XI. Visually, too, these adaptations have been a complete and utter delight.

If you are a diehard Shakespeare fan then please disregard my confused ramblings. If anything, watching these adaptations has been an encouragement for me to seek out the plays and read them at some point.

MY RATING: ***.5 / *****


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