Lion in winter The film entitled “Lion in Winter” is based on the 1966 Broadway play of James Goldman of the same title and was adapted to screenplay in 1968. The film is loosely based on the true story of Henry II of England and his family. The basic story in this film is the championing of the youngest son of Henry II, John, for the English crown against his oldest son Richard, who is controlled by the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Most of the scenes in this film are contained within one day, a Christmas Eve. It is here that the audience sees the true intent of the king in choosing his heir before he dies and the conflict and shifting alliances that surround this issue.Of the characters in this film, John and Richard are the more interesting ones. John is portrayed as “a sniveling slack-jaw” while Richard is cast as the “soldier genius”.
A closer inspection of their characters reveals certain traits which reveal why each one was preferred by the king and the queen.
The homosexual insinuations of Richard add a flaw to his character as a “soldier genius” while the character of John, who is the king’s favorite, as a pathetic fool all lend to the wonderfully intense drama of the film. This also creates an incredibly dysfunctional family. The characters also reveal the interesting theories of James Goldman on the eventual claim of Richard to the throne and the failure of King John as a king.
In conclusion, the movie is a very engaging film as it capitalizes on the richness of the dialogue and also lends a lot to the visual effects that create a vibrant feel for the audience to experience. The gracefulness and wit by which the movie is presented greatly highlights the deficiencies of the characters and outlines the power play that ensues. Overall, the visual and mental stimulation that this film provides makes it a film worth watching, not just once but over and over.
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