- Format: Blu-ray, Classical, Multiple Formats, NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, French, German
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Naxos Deutschland Musik & Video Vertriebs-GmbH / Poing
- DVD Release Date: 24 Feb 2015
- Run Time: 174 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B00RXF77WY
Henry IV Part 2
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<h3 class=""productDescriptionSource"">Press Reviews
"Shakespeare's two greatest plays have always been a defining experience for RSC directors. Gregory Doran now puts his decisive seal on the company by offering a production that, like last year's Richard II, combines richness of texture with psychological insight. It also contains a major performance from Antony Sher as Falstaff.
" (The Guardian)
"Performed on the mighty thrust stage of the RSC's main house in Stratford, the productions have an admirably assured grasp of the plays' panoramic sweep, moving with fluency and a fine feel for thematic counterpoint between care-racked court and lax, frowsty Eastcheap, boozer and battlefield, urban and pastoral.
" (The Independent)
"Here is Shakespeare perfect for both teenagers and old romantics. We have a pulsatingly deranged Hotspur, Sir Antony Sher's typically mannered Falstaff, some memorable cameos - and hairdos worthy of a bonkers Hollywood B film. " (The Daily Mail)
"He has played Richard III, Shylock, Leontes, Macbeth and Prospero to huge acclaim. But can Sir Antony Sher, one of our most Shakespeare-steeped theatrical knights, give us a Falstaff to remember? .... The answer is yes. A benign grin plastered on his rubicund face, this big-bearded, pot-bellied knave is first seen emerging from the bedclothes under which Alex Hassell's lusty Harry has been romping with two maids.
" (The Daily Telegraph)
"Visually Greg Doran's new production is a treat. A great interpretation." (What's on Stage)
"Antony Sher is an insatiable and ebullient Falstaff. It's a performance that combines clarity and complexity - fruity, throaty, here and there a little overripe but always generous and detailed. He captures the warmth of Shakespeare's famously flawed knight - his delight in excess, blustering vitality and sparks of youthful exuberance. And even when he's at his most outrageous, Sher's Falstaff wears the expression of an affronted storyteller who can't quite believe that we don't find him winningly modest." (The Evening Standard)
"Opening in the run-up to the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, these productions are a real treat: intelligent, accessible and superbly performed. Sher's Falstaff is a joy, but the same can be said about so much of both these productions." (The Stage)
Jasper Britton (Henry IV)
Antony Sher (Falstaff)
Alex Hassell (Hal)
Paola Dionisotti (Quickly)
Oliver Ford Davies (Shallow)
Jim Hooper (Silence)
Stage Director: Gregory Doran
Television Director: Robin Lough
Designer: Stephen Brimson Lewis
Catalogue Number: OABD7163D
Date of Performance: 2014
Running Time: 195 minutes
Sound: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Label: Opus Arte"
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The only slight flaw I found was the character of Catherine. She's written rather as an afterthought, with only one really good joke, but she should at least smile as she's being wooed by our hero. She might be timid or fearful, but not distracted or bothered as she tends to seem here.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Shrewsbury that closes Part 1, we find a King in decline. The battle was won at a terrible cost, much loss of life and a failure to fully quell rebellion. Henry (Jeremy Irons) is ill, given to “fits” — unable to sleep and consumed by guilt over having deposed Richard, his predecessor. Falstaff, (Simon Russell Beale) trading on the lie that he, not Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston), is responsible for slaying Harry Percy at Shrewsbury, is seen preening and boasting, but in reality is essentially penniless, suffering from gout and cut off from the young Prince under orders from the King.
Beale and director Richard Eyre are keen to emphasize Shakespeare’s portrayal of aging and the parallel between King Henry IV and Falstaff — both men are approaching the end of life. Beale says of his character, Falstaff, that he is “past his sell-by date.”
The play really is the weakest of the four — the first half to two-thirds seem to be plowing old ground — sad King, selfish Falstaff, rebellious nobles (and some clergy) but Eyre does much to keep the interest up, and the final third is quite wonderful.
Beginning with the dramatic scene of the King’s collapse at the good news that the latest plot is thwarted — the film seems to catch fire. Eyre cuts between two scenes. First, the court where Henry’s closest aids, Westmorland (James Laurenson) and Warwick (Iain Glenn) attend him, along with his youngest sons and second, the rural setting at the home of of Master Robert Shallow (David Bamber) where Flastaff, Bardolf (Georgeson) and the young servant boy (Billy Matthews) have come, initially to recruit soldiers and later to borrow money.
Hal arrives to find his father in the throes of one of his (historically accurate) fits and thinks him dead. What follows is a quiet and beautiful bedside scene followed by another of the tense confrontations between father and son, fortunately finding loving resolution before the old king dies.
When Falstaff hears the news he rushes to court to claim his place and honors as beloved friend to the newly crowned Henry V. Eyre then makes a brilliant cut to Hal’s coronation, which is not in the play. The foolish old knight interrupts the procession, failing utterly to grasp how everything has changed. (“Presume not that I am the thing I was…” the young king tells him) Hal’s rejection of Falstaff is, in some ways what the entire play has been building up to — indeed, the moment was foreshadowed in the “play within a play” at the Boar’s Head Tavern in Part 1, when Hal tells him, regarding banishment: “I do — I will.” And now the moment has come. The scene is exquisitely played.
And so, Henry V is crowned and the stage is set for the last of the four plays in what is now Season One of the Hollow crown, as Season Two (Henry VI - Richard III) is currently in production.
The entire cast is up to snuff, and this one of the most enjoyable presentations of Shakespeare I've watched. The dialogue is delivered naturally, for the most part free of the over pronunciation and sometimes forced feeling that can come through in performances.
I understand the impact of the "bawdy pub" scenes, and that this is pretty true to the original play, but some of them dragged.
The production quality is good, the costumes especially.
But I digress: Jeremy. Irons. *drops mic*