An expert on medieval weapons and armor criticizes the character played by Robert Pattinson in Netflix’s The King, pointing out historical inaccuracies in the armor he wears for martial arts. The reviewer gives the film a minuscule rating out of ten due to a lack of historical accuracy due to Pattinson’s armor, as well as wider flaws in the portrayal of the Battle of Agincourt. Although The King received generally positive reviews from critics, historians have had problems with its significant deviations from the actual story.
An expert on medieval weapons and armor analyzes scenes from the Netflix series The King and criticizes the character of Robert Pattinson. Released in 2019 based on William Shakespeare, The King, directed by David Michaud, stars Timothée Chalamet as the Prince of Wales and then King Henry V of England. Pattinson appears in a medieval epic as Louis de Guyenne, Dauphin of France, and attempts to duel with character Chalamet after his forces were defeated at the Battle of Agincourt 1415.
Now Tobas Capwell, curator of weapons and armor at the Wallace Collection in London, assesses the historical accuracy of The King in a recent video posted by Insider on YouTube.
In addition to the various aspects of the Battle of Agincourt, Capwell has particular issues with the armor Pattinson wears during his character’s attempt at martial arts, which doesn’t quite fit the historical period. In the end, he gives the film a pathetic rating of one out of ten. Here is Capwell’s full comment about Pattinson:
“Poor R-Pats are like a mountain of garbage. It’s a mixture. There are a couple of elements, shoulders and armor, that are vaguely 15th century, but about a generation too late for Agincourt. His helmet is just ridiculous. I mean, it has a vague 16th-century profile, but it doesn’t fit well, it’s too big, it’s uncomfortable.”
How was Netflix’s The King received?
Reviews for The King upon release were generally positive, with particular praise for the performances of the actors. Chalamet, in particular, showed his talent as an actor, bringing nuance and power to the film’s quieter moments and proving himself a master even in the more action-packed scenes. Pattinson’s performance in The King was somewhat controversial, with some viewers criticizing his campy approach to the character and exaggerated French accent.
While critical response to the film was generally positive, historians have had issues with many aspects of The King. There are many historical inaccuracies in Shakespeare’s own source which are also accepted in the film. In addition to the extensive use of anachronistic armor, the film makes several significant changes to King Henry V himself, who is portrayed in the film as a peace activist but is generally seen as a highly aggressive and war-inclined leader.
Even the King’s version of the battle of Agincourt has many deviations from the story, and in fact, Ludovic was not even present at the battle, and the combat scene is completely fictionalized from the film. As such, The King serves as an interesting display of Chalamet’s acting talent and contains some gripping action scenes, but it seems that those who want to better understand the historical period the film is about are best looked elsewhere.
Source: Insider / YouTube