Film Critic Charis Gambon praises The King’s Man as an entertaining film that blends historical accuracy with exciting action sequences
As someone who both loves and studies history, I thoroughly enjoyed The King’s Man. Set in the First World War, many of the events that occur during the film are actual real events, which is something that I enjoyed about the film very much.
My favourite character from The King’s Man by a long shot was Polly, portrayed by Gemma Arterton. I study women in war, and I found her character to be mesmerising. Although Polly is a fictional character, I saw so many of the characteristics and nature you see in real historical women. She was ruthless, brave, and loyal, which is certainly a refreshing way to see a female character portrayed within a historical piece. She did not need saving; in fact, she saved the male characters herself several times. I found her network of spies based upon domestic servants to be fascinating. Historically, it was often true that if you wanted to know something about a house or its occupants, you should ask the staff as they hear all.
I also loved Rhys Ifans’ portrayal of Grigori Rasputin. Having previously studied Russian history, the movie portrayal was exactly how I imagined Rasputin to be in real life. The depiction of the eccentric character that was Rasputin truly could not have been any better; real historical details such as the fact that Rasputin poisoned himself a little every day with cyanide so that nobody could kill him through poisoning really made the film.
The Duke of Oxford, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, was another character who I found interesting. His development throughout the film was amazing, and I truly love that the character was not one-dimensional. The difference in the character from after his wife (Alexandra Maria Lara) dies, followed by his son (Harris Dickinson) towards the end of the film is outstanding. While the character at the start of the film saw himself as a pacifist, by the end he would not describe himself as being so. The Duke of Oxford from the start of the film truly would not have created the Kingsman organisation.
I loved being able to see the BE2 plane during the film, as I find biplanes to be truly beautiful and have recently been learning about them. I found the scene where the Duke of Oxford was stuck in the wing incredibly funny, and I was gutted when he crashed this beautiful plane. I did not see the twist at the end of the film about who the ‘shepherd’, the main antagonist of The King’s Man, was, but once they revealed his identity, it did truly make sense. I think that it was a great choice by the writers to have the twist be who it turned out to be, and I do not believe that it was too obvious.
I believe that The King’s Man is great entertainment for all. There is enough history elements within to satisfy the history lovers, but there is also enough action to satisfy the action lovers. The King’s Man was my favourite film from the Kingsman series, as I felt that it was well written, directed and acted. Every aspect of the story made sense and played into the bigger picture portrayed in the film.
The King’s Man is out now in cinemas
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