Somewhere between Thor and Thor: The Dark World, Tom Hiddleston shed his Loki robes to don the cape of ne’er-do-well Prince Hal in The Hollow Crown.
This 2012 BBC series is actually a collection of TV adaptations of four of Shakespeare’s history plays; Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 and 2, and Henry V (aka the Henriad) Confused? Let me say it another way.
Play out the play!
Now I know many of you do not appreciate the lyrical phrasings of the immortal bard, buy prey do hear me out on this matter. If you love The Lord of the Rings or the Game of the Thrones, you will be also taken in by the masterful retelling of these classic plays.
I shall throw off these cunning trappings and speak plainly – The Hollow Crown is a collection of beautifully filmed, historical dramas with a top notch cast and incredible production values. If you’re at all worried that you won’t understand the dialogue – fear not. Once you catch on to the rhythm, it’s like listening to a song. And the actors won’t let you down, either.
What’s really incredible is how little the world has changed since these plays were written. In Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston is heir to the throne but he’d rather spend his days drinking and carousing with his friends than attending to matters of state. Today, his behavior would be the top story on TMZ. (What’s the Medieval equivalent of the paparazzi?)
The Hollow Crown is loaded with incredible performances. You have Jeremy Irons as the a king who is slowly being crushed by the weight of his crown and the rebellious actions of his son. Simon Russell Beale is both poignant and comical as Falstaff, young Ben Whishaw is excellent as Richard II. American audiences will also recognize Patrick Stewart, James Purefoy (The Following), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) and David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) just to name a few.
And did I mention the lighting. . and the cinematography. . and how we the director manages to capture both the intimacy of lovers and the epic scope of all out war. All of which are covered in the two DVD “making of” featurettes that are included in this DVD set.
If you’re a Shakespeare fan, or a fan of those great historical dramas on HBO and Showtime – put The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series
on your holiday wish list or buy it for yourself, today.