henry-iv-part-2

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The way Hal (Jamie Parker) strokes the king’s hand in this scene (Henry IV Part 2 at The Globe) kills me. He’s like a little kid, playing with his dad’s hand while he tells him a bedtime story. It’s so familiar - so intimate and natural - one of the few times they actually make any physical contact and one of the only times the king isn’t yelling at him for being a wayward child. 

And then his dad sighs: “My Harry…” and Hal has to turn away to stop himself from crying 

Perfect scene. 

Thoughts about 2 Henry iv
  • despite the problems I may have with this falstaff, I like the extent to which we can sympathize with him.

  • the challenge of 2 Henry iv, I think, is that (in great contrast to Richard or 1 Henry I or Henry v) there isn’t a whole lot of plot. It’s not a bad thing, but it takes some dealing with.

  • I wish they’d given lady Mary the entirety of “go not to these wars” – she’s quite strong as lady Percy.

  • Henry’s “uneasy lies the head” soliloquy is beautiful – I’m glad they managed a way to do a soliloquy that isn’t a voiceover. It’s very effective.

  • DAMN doll has a knife

  • the thing between doll and falstaff is rather sweet, isn’t it?

  • how clever is it that they set up Hal hooking up with doll in part 1! It makes the following scene have so many more levels.

  • geese!

  • they aged falstaff very well, I think

  • Henry V really makes one forget that hal is not an only child.

  • Ah now, Hal and Henry: one of the best scenes in all the histories. They’re both wonderful actors; I have high expectations.

  • the film medium really allows Hal’s taking of the crown to be as epic as it should be. Oh my word, he’s crying.

  • I’m so glad that they allowed the great bittersweet sadness between Hal and Henry – a son who never thought he would see his father again – who, in effect, had the chance to mourn a living man to his face – to be so simple and honest.

  • “I know thee not, old man” – this must be one of the most heartbreaking scenes in all Shakespeare. Well done, team.

  • I’m glad they cut the epilogue – it wouldn’t have ended on the right tone if they kept it.

All in all, I enjoyed it thoroughly, though it did drag at times. It also seemed to not take place in the same world as Richard II, which is fine, although I did think they were trying too set it up as a continuous series. Tom hiddleston and Jeremy irons really carried the production, and I ended up liking falstaff’s performance much more than I initially thought I would.

I’d love to rewatch Henry V, but I’ve been staring at a screen for far too long, so this will be all for tonight.