Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 14 July 2013
30 years ago I read the play and then let it slip from my repertoire. So now it is new again. I started with "A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare without the Boring bits" commentary by Peter Aykroyd, and then worked my way through three film versions. Now finally I am reading the book to see what I missed.
The BBC is more complete and closer in verbiage to the original play versions. Lawerence Olivia was force to cut out much of the play because of time constraints and because of the time of the production Henry V could not look like a tyrant and they had to justify the war so it would coincide with the WWII war effort. However Kenneth Branagh, Making his directing debut, pulled out all stops. He may have missed a few lines here and there but replaced them with visuals and innuendos.
This story is based on prior works but can stand alone very well as what history of Henry is needed is mentioned in the play. Henry V was a sort of playboy (probably by cunning design) as a youth and when becoming king has decides to acquire France that is his heritage. In the process he must prove his ability to understand and lead people. One of his first tests is to detect treachery and remove it. The films leave out a lot of the information that make this story complete and interesting.
I must say the kindle version helps you move along with text-to-speak without it you will find you self constantly looking at the dictionary the first time through. The second time through it runs much smoother but people look at you funning when you use terms like puissant. Two thirds of the words came up in the online kindle dictionary; the rest had to rely on other on line dictionaries.
In any event as usual I found many daily quotes had come from this play:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother
If you do not come away with any other wisdom remember if you are traveling through France keep an eye on your luggage.