To Kill A King details
|Starring:||James Bolam, Rupert Everett, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Dougray Scott, Olivia Williams, Corin Redgrave, Tim Roth, Adrian Scarbor, Finbar Lynch|
To Kill A King
|Run time:||1 hour 38 minutes|
|Rental release:||12 Jan 2004|
Most helpful review
To Kill HistoryBy Gareth Murray from Belfast, Northern Ireland , 19 Feb 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]One of the most important events in British History on film.
On paper this should have been one magnifficent spectacle, it is however very dissapointing.
One can't help think that the constrsaints of budget hampered the production here.
Instead of telling the story of how England became a short lived republic, the narrative instead concentrates on the straining relationship between Fairfax (Dougray Scott) and Cromwell (Tim Roth). Fine in theory but the film portrays Oliver Cromwell to be nothing more than a power hungry despot who after disposing England of it's monarchy likes the idea of being a king of sorts himself.
This is of course naieve and a very simplistic view of the aftermath of the English Civil War. I had no doubt that the film's sympathies lay with the royalist tradition.
The best moments to watch out for are the verbal interchanges between Cromwell and King Charles 1 palyed well by Rupert Everett, it is these scenes that capture a feeling that Cromwell is the only man the King actually fears.
Disapointing yes, but definately worth watching just to be miffed by the Historical distortions.
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Not a Bad Film Atall!!By laneyb (313 reviews) from Rochester, Kent , 05 Jul 2013Although I really enjoyed this film, I have to agree with someone elses review that I found it struggled to know which cause it's supporting! I found I was split between sides. Great acting though and Dougray Scott looks fantastic!!
What a shame!By JuliaLeeDean (3 reviews) , 12 Oct 2012I have only recently begun my research into the C17th and must confess to knowing very little about Fairfax beyond the view that he was a much better soldier than history remembers him to be.
However it is the characterisation of Cromwell that rankled: it feels as though the writer wrote Cromwell's character without opening a single book on the subject and instead swallowed without thought every piece of Royalist propaganda available, much of which has been since disproved. What results is a character that is laughably unrecognisable.
How can a film that purports to be about the English Civil War make it to the end without spending any time on the subject of religion, something that came to be at least as significant a cause for war as the liberties of the English people? If you're mindful of the money-men and squeamish about all those dinner-party taboos then don't make a film about C17th England.
I am not convinced that the glimpse into Fairfax's personal life worked for the film: Lady Fairfax and her relationship with her husband is surely worthy of a film on her own right but here it was a distraction in a film which already gave the impression of trying to do too much
If you make it to the end of the film be prepared for the glibness of the onscreen text which smoothly dismisses the English Civil War as a bit of pre-match entertainment before the French Revolution took the field. We may never have had a republic since the Protectorate but it is also true to say that neither have we had an absolute monarch since 1649 - even Charles II was careful to keep terms with Parliament lest he had to 'go on his travels' again. The events of the 1640s are part of the reason we have a Constitutional Monarchy and call ourselves citizens instead of subjects today.
This film is a disappointment because it could have been wonderful and the frustrating thing is that the fundamental research failure that mars the film could do easily have been rectified. I am tempted to leave all my critisism at the writer's door however I know from experience how a producer / director can literally dictate a film's 'treatment' (blueprint) only to denouce the writer when the script turns out to be exactly what they asked for, 'warts and all' (sorry!). I hope that that is what happened here and that the writer has since gone on to better things with better people.
One day someone will take the time to engage with Cromwell as the complex and fascinating man he was rather than the panto baddie too many people are ready to believe in. What a film that will be!
A very underrated movie!By TheCountessOfRochester (11 reviews) , 06 May 2012This movie has GREAT acting, good script, good accurate language and most importantly is historically CORRECT!
The main critic who reviews this is not a good critic! Most great movies this critic has given a bad review!
This movie is moving, it shows accurately the terrible terrible deed that was done to King Charles I resulting in his death, and the true evil and insanity of Oliver Cromwell! As well as the start of a rise of a great monarch King Charles II. I found Charles I to be very likeable and it was very moving what the poor man had to go through and did not deserve. Finally a period drama that is true and accurate!
I haven't clicked 'yes' to spoilers as anyone who knows their history will know what happened to King Charles. I have watched this movie 3 times and would definitely watch again.
On the day of Charles I execution, it was snowing, he wore two shirts so he would not shiver because he was worried that people would mistake his coldness for fear. He made some mistakes, but none so dispicable, evil and revolting as Oliver Cromwell! This movie showed the REAL story, what Oliver Cromwell and the rest did WAS treason and an unfair trial, Yet in London, to this day there is a monument to Oliver Cromwell like he was some sort of hero?! Bless you Cahrles I!
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Worth a watchBy a customer , 13 Oct 2011How anyone can say this film supports the royalist cause defeats me. I think it struggles to know which cause it's supporting, which may well be a plus in terms of presenting a believable account of events. All the best laid plans and high ideals seem to falter with the possession of power. What's that saying again.... 'Absolute power....!
The characters are powerfully portrayed and the whole thing was interesting although personally I could've done with less blood and guts.
Worth WatchingBy a customer from Pershore , 18 Feb 2010A decent enough film that is worth watching albeit that it is more concerned with the relationship between Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, than the events leading up to the beheading of Charles I. I felt that the author had taken a few liberties as I'm sure the film is not historically correct. Clearly, as the plot unfolds Cromwell is depicted as a power grabbing tyrant scheming behind Fairfax's back. My understanding was that once Parliament was established, all Cromwell wanted to do was to return to his West Country farm. The position of Lord Protector came later when Cromwell returned as a result of Parliament's inadequacies. Or am I wrong? Either way, a film worth watching if you like historical drama as I do, but unfortunately, I felt Tim Roth was miscast as Cromell...go and see the statue outside the House of Commons and you will know what I mean.