Monday, August 29, 2005

A Director to Adapt Each of Shakespeare's Plays #8 -- HENRY IV (PARTS 1 and 2) directed by Alfonso Cuaron

The Plot:

Someday Prince Harry is going to be king. In fact, he’s going to be a very good one. But right now, he’s really into hanging out at the local bars boozing it up with his buddies. Understandably, the current king (a.k.a. Dad) is not pleased at all with his son’s gallivanting. Civil war is about to erupt in England and young Hotspur is every bit the valorous soldier that Prince Harry should be. But hold on! Faster than you can say ‘prodigy’, Prince Harry gets off the sauce and into the army, dragging his drinking buddies with him. Against all odds, he vanquishes Hotspur and fends off his father’s enemies. When Dad falls ill, he at least knows the country’s going to be in good hands and we’re all set up for Henry V. (Like George Lucas, Shakespeare released parts IV, V and VI first.)

Why Cuaron?

Henry IV is not just dry history, but a ‘coming of age’ story. What’s curious about Shakespeare’s drama is that he shows one of Britain’s most revered historical figures as an immature whelp. We’ve all got to start somewhere, right? By the end of Part 2, Harry has taken on the responsibility of an entire nation. He rejects his former drinking buddies and commands them not to come anywhere near the new king. On a much smaller level, Cuaron’s Y Tu Mama Tambien, follows its two male leads on a similar path. In the beginning, life is all about sex, parties and farting. By the end, these two friends share a table, but can barely speak to one another. They see in each other a reminder of a reckless youth that now seems embarrassing and distant. Though unseen by me, the generally positive reception for Cuaron’s entry into the Harry Potter series demonstrates that he is ready to make ‘big’ pictures. Henry IV might be an appropriate choice.

Cuaron films I have seen:

Just one ...

Y Tu Mama Tambien ****


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