6 June 2018 | Tweekums
A modern take on a Shakespeare tragedy
Lear, an elderly king, has decided to divide his kingdom between his three daughters but first he asks each how much they love him to decide who should get the largest share. The elder two, Goneril and Regan, profess their love in false, obsequious tones but Cordelia, the youngest and most beloved, says she has no words to say how much she loves him... and is immediately disowned. The Earl of Kent speaks up for her but he too is banished. Tensions soon rise as various parties try to position themselves for power and the king's grip on reality slips further; tragedy is inevitable.
One wouldn't really say this BBC production was enjoyably... 'King Lear' is one of Shakespeare's more tragic plays; it is however a gripping production. Anthony Hopkins does a fine job as Lear, really capturing the anger and confusion of the character as he slips into senility. Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Florence Pugh impress as Goneril, Regan and Cordelia although we see far more of the former two and they get more to work with. The rest of the cast is solid and includes plenty of familiar faces. There are some disturbing moments... the sight of a character having his eyes gouged out certainly had me wincing. Director Richard Eyre did a fine job capturing the bleakness of the story; the colour draining from the picture as the story progresses to such an extent that the final scenes was almost black and white. Overall I'd certainly recommend this to fans of Shakespeare on film.