One of the best William Shakespeare's adaptation I've ever seen. Not as powerful as his later movie - Hamlet. But director Kenneth Branagh was able to give a new take or perspective in his directorial debut. He made this movie more dark and realistic than the 1944 Oliver's version. In my opinion, The Battle of Agincourt in this movie is less epic than I was expected before. But damn, it's still a thrilling experience
I thought this movie felt a bit like a television production made by an actor-director who suffers from severe narcissism. Sometimes Branagh's performance was a little laughable. I mean sure it fits the whole theater frame but still. Yet it is not without merit. I am sure there are plenty people who'd enjoy this, the average rating speaks for itself.
I didn't feel Branagh was the right choice for Henry the Fifth, I just didn't see him working in the role. The feel of the film overall was one of a stage production on screen, rather than a proper adaptation. Those tropes that work well on stage don't necessarily translate well to screen. The chorus (Derek Jacobi) was an unwelcome touch, who grew to grate on me with every appearance.
Hal's not evil, exactly, just a sad and sanguinary victim-hero of "adulthood" (note that the victory at Agincourt had zero long-term benefits for perfidious Albion). Branagh pulls off the plum gig (barely), but the real star here is Brian Blessed as Exeter: an immense badass with brains, teeth, and brawn. It's no wonder the camera often cuts to his merest facial expressions: young Branagh knew Blessed had his back.