Watch King Lear
- 1 hr 55 min
Set in modern day London, the 2018 adaptation of King Lear follows the story of the aging King (Jim Broadbent) as he divides his kingdom amongst his three daughters. However, when his youngest and most beloved daughter Cordelia (Florence Pugh) refuses to publicly proclaim her love for him in order to receive her share of the kingdom, Lear banishes her and sets in motion a tragic chain of events. As Lear descends into madness, his two older daughters Goneril (Emily Watson) and Regan (Emma Thompson) begin to plot against him, using their newfound power to strip their father of his dignity and wealth. Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester (Jim Carter) and his illegitimate son Edmund (Tobias Menzies) become embroiled in their own bitter feud, adding to the turmoil and tragedy that unfolds. This adaptation stays true to the themes of the original play, exploring complex issues of power, betrayal, and familial relationships. At its core, it is a story about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the destructive consequences of overwhelming pride. Jim Broadbent gives a memorable performance as King Lear, capturing the character's inner turmoil and pathos as he grapples with his declining mental state and his own mortality. His interactions with his daughters, particularly his fierce and ultimately tragic relationship with Cordelia, are played with nuance and subtlety. Thompson and Watson also stand out in their roles as Lear's scheming and power-hungry daughters. Their performances are chillingly convincing, as they transform from doting and affectionate daughters to cold and calculating tyrants. The supporting cast also shines, particularly Menzies as the cunning and manipulative Edmund and Carter as the loyal and compassionate Gloucester. Their subplot provides a powerful counterpoint to the main story and adds to the overall sense of tragedy and despair. In terms of production value, the film is beautifully shot, with stunning cinematography and a haunting musical score that adds to the eerie and ominous mood of the story. The modern-day setting is subtly integrated into the narrative, with nods to contemporary issues such as social media and political upheaval. Overall, this adaptation of King Lear is a compelling and emotionally charged retelling of one of Shakespeare's most powerful plays. It features a talented cast of actors who each bring nuance and depth to their roles, and it is sure to engage and captivate audiences who are fans of Shakespeare, as well as those who are new to his work.