King John

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  • NR
  • 2016
  • 2 hr 32 min
  • 7.7  (50)

King John is a political drama movie released in 2015 that dwells upon the life events of King John of England, who ruled the country from 1199 until his death in 1216. Directed by John Doyle, this historical movie stars Tom McCamus as King John, Patricia Collins as Queen Eleanor and Andrew Lawrie as Prince Arthur - John's nephew. The movie takes places during King John's reign, where he faces many tumultuous situations such as threats from Pope Innocent III and King Philip II of France, and his nephew's claim to the throne, amongst other things. At the beginning of the movie, John is seen fighting in France but he is not victorious. He is ridiculed by his brothers Richard the Lionheart and Geoffrey, and by his mother, Queen Eleanor, for his defeat in the war and he is considered weak and incapable of ruling the kingdom.

Throughout the movie, King John's ruthlessness is portrayed, as he manipulates and forces his subordinates to do his bidding. He also resorts to treachery by executing a few of his own allies to maintain his power. The story reveals how John excommunicates the Bishops of Norwich and Canterbury, and how Innocent III puts the whole of the country under Interdict. The King's constant conflicts with the church and his barons make his rule more difficult, leading to him being forced to sign the Magna Carta, one of the greatest political documents ever written.

One unique aspect of King John is its brilliant costume design and cinematography. The costumes are intricate and true to their period, capturing the essence of medieval England. The cinematography is stunning and highlights the beauty of the English countryside while also conveying the mood of the scene with darker tones and a menacing atmosphere.

Tom McCamus's performance as King John is simply outstanding. He gives depth and complexity to the character, portraying the King's weaknesses and strengths with equal conviction. His portrayal of John's cold and calculating nature, coupled with his quick thinking, makes him a formidable force to behold. Patricia Collins shines as Queen Eleanor, giving a powerful performance as a mother trying to protect her son from the King's wrath. Andrew Lawrie embodies Prince Arthur, the rightful heir to the throne, with a blend of vulnerability and determination that leaves the audience rooting for him.

The film is not without its flaws, however. At times, the pacing can feel a little slow, with certain conversations going on for too long. This may put off potential viewers who prefer faster-paced movies. Also, although the film covers an interesting and complex period in English history, its lack of a clear narrative themes and a focused plot makes the film feel disjointed.

King John succeeds in bringing to life the complexity of medieval politics in England, showing the struggle for power and the lengths to which people would go to maintain it. The characters are well-defined, and the costumes and cinematography create a stunning tableau that keeps the audience's attention. The film is a must-watch for history enthusiasts, Shakespeare aficionados and anyone interested in the machinations of power.

In conclusion, King John is a fascinating historical portrayal of the tumultuous reign of King John. The film does justice to the complexity of the characters and the events that shaped medieval England, providing a clear picture of the politics and the mindsets of the players during that time. Despite the pacing issues, King John is well worth a watch, offering an engaging and visually stunning experience for viewers who enjoy a good historical drama.

King John is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.

King John
Where to Watch King John
King John is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent King John for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 32 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (50)