The final adaptation of three Shakespeare plays: Henry VI Part I, Henry VI Part II, and Richard III. Benedict Cumberbatch fulfills the role of Richard III with great aplomb.
Richard III is probably the better known of the three. And yet again, when reading this review please consider the fact that while I know who Richard III was, I have never seen the play prior to watching this 2hr 30 minute adaptation.
Every single person in this adaptation was fantastic. They all brought something to their roles and what was eventually created onscreen was a compelling piece of drama. The tension throughout was unrelenting, even though with historical hindsight the ending was obvious. Richard’s slow descent into paranoia and madness was chilling to see but played fantastically well. His performance was so intense and thrilling. The use of breaking the fourth wall was excellent. I can only imagine the full intensity if that was played out in a theatre setting. And the way he slithered out of frame? Absolutely brilliant. Benedict is a fantastically talented actor, and he is definitely underestimated.
My favourite scene was twofold, firstly when Cecily, Anne and Margaret were plotting how to get rid of Richard because he had done them wrong, and also the scene when Richard is forced to face the magnitude of his evil deeds when all those he has killed face him and taunt him. Again, a truly compelling drama. Luke Treadaway in his role as Henry VII was utterly brilliant too.
Out of the three plays the BBC dramatized, I would personally choose to watch this one again. Highly recommended.
MY RATING: **** / *****