Henry V - Film Essay

This essay has a total of 955 words and 3 pages.

Henry V - Film

The film uses various techniques to present a particular view of the war against France.
What is that interpretation and how does the film convey it?Although the Branagh version
of Shakespeare's Henry V remains very close to the text, with only a few lines left out of
the film, the movie portrays a very clear and distinct message about war and Branagh's
opinion on the matter. Henry V is fundamentally a play about war, and it would have been
very easy for Branagh to make his version of the play into a film that glorified war.
Instead, Branagh took the opportunity to make a statement about what he felt was the true
essence of wars - both medieval and modern.It is clear through Henry V that Branagh thinks
that wars are a waste of precious human life, and in the end are fruitless, causing more
loss than gain. From the very first battle at Harfleur Branagh's low opinion of war is
shown. When we first see the fighting, it is dusk and the sky is further darkened by
smoke, instantly creating a morbid feeling. Combined with the muddy and wet terrain, the
cheerless soldiers and the overbearing size of the castle which they hope to achieve, it
is clear not only that the English army must fight against all the odds to win, but that
even the conditions are detrimental to the English cause.The scene where Bardolph, Nym and
Pistol are backing away from the battle to save themselves is an important inclusion to
the film. Had Branagh intended the film to be a glorification of war, this small scene
could have easily been removed. However, he chose to keep it in his film because it
actually assists the message which he attempts to convey. This scene, although still
clearly comical, as Shakespeare intended it to be, it implies that not all soldiers are
valiant and brave and that war is so terrible that soldiers are willing to desert their
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