King Lear

Watch King Lear

  • 1984
  • 2 hr 38 min
  • 7.6  (855)

King Lear is a 1983 film adaptation of the classic play by William Shakespeare. Starring Colin Blakely as Lear, Leo McKern as Gloucester, and Robert Lindsay as Edmund, the movie is a faithful retelling of the tragic story of a king who descends into madness and ruin. The film opens with the aging King Lear announcing his intention to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters - Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia - based on how much they profess to love him. Goneril and Regan, eager to inherit the kingdom, flatter their father with flowery language, but Cordelia, unwilling to engage in such insincere flattery, simply says she loves him as any daughter should. Furious, Lear disowns Cordelia and banishes her from the kingdom.

This proves to be a disastrous decision, as Lear's other daughters quickly turn on him and begin a campaign of betrayal and cruelty. Goneril and Regan refuse to house Lear and his entourage, forcing him to wander the countryside in a state of madness. Meanwhile, Gloucester's bastard son Edmund plots to usurp his legitimate brother Edgar and becomes embroiled in the political machinations of the kingdom.

The film's performances are a standout feature, with Colin Blakely delivering a powerful portrayal of Lear's descent into madness and Leo McKern bringing depth and nuance to Gloucester's tragic story. Robert Lindsay is also excellent as the conniving Edmund, and the supporting cast is equally strong. The dramatic landscapes of England provide a stunning backdrop to the film, with the rugged coastline and rolling hills adding a sense of epic grandeur to the story.

Another notable aspect of the film is its use of language - Shakespeare's dense and complex dialogue can be difficult to understand for modern audiences, but the actors in King Lear deliver their lines with clarity and emotion, making the themes and emotions of the story easy to follow. The filmmakers also make clever use of visual metaphors to convey the story's themes - for example, the storm that rages during Lear's breakdown reflecting the turmoil of his mind.

Overall, King Lear is an engaging and powerful film adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. Fans of the Bard's work will appreciate the film's faithfulness to the source material, while newcomers will be drawn in by the standout performances and stunning visuals. With its timeless themes of family, power, and betrayal, King Lear remains a relevant and resonant story even today, nearly 400 years after it was first written.

King Lear
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 38 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (855)