It is customary nowadays, in movies and in even in books, to open with a scene of horrific violence, before moving on to the actual plot. I guess this is intended to reassure the moviegoer: yes, there are lace collars and farthingales, but hey! there’s going to be gore as well.
I’ve noticed this in films of Shakespeare’s plays, as well. If gore isn’t an option for the opening, there will certainly be naked women. I imagine this stuff as a sop to people who’ve gone to the movie with friends even though they hate costume dramas, Shakespeare, etc.
So To Kill a King, one of this month’s review items from Amazon, starts out with blood and internal organs on the battlefield. I averted my eyes. After that, it’s a bit confusing for a while, but #1 son assured me that this is the way modern movies are. Eventually, if you are pretty clear on the history of England’s civil war, you can figure out what’s going on. It is the rise and fall of Oliver Cromwell, including the death of King Charles.
The death of King Charles was an enormous big deal. Not that people all over the world said to themselves, “Lopped off his head, did they? Well, I guess that’s the end of the Divine Right of Kings. Let’s have a revolution!”
But that was the effect. Once you compress it all, the way you can once a thing is history rather than current events. Current events take place so slowly that we can’t properly see what’s going on. History is much clearer. Sometimes I look forward to having our current events become history so that they will make more sense, although there is a bit of worry with stuff like globalization, global warming, and the U.S. economy, that it might turn out to be some history that people will look back at later and say, “Isn’t it amazing that they all just sat around and allowed that?”
One of the things I really liked about this movie is the fact that all the characters, including Cromwell and King Charles, are quite sympathetic. You can see what they had in mind. It is beautifully filmed, has three-dimensional characters, and includes women, and not just as excuses to show skin. No memorable music, but you can’t have everything.
One thing they left out was the knitted waistcoat that Charles wore at his execution. I don’t know why they didn’t include it. It had quite a nice stitch, which we now know as King Charles Brocade. I didn’t knit during the movie, or even quilt, since I had a mountain of laundry to fold. And also I must go review the movie at some point, so I didn’t want to have missed an important part because I had come to some complex shaping or something. I think that probably happens a lot.
Today I have a couple of workshops and a rehearsal, and I need to leave home in one hour. I should probably get dressed.