Straightforward, energetic, updated Bard. 28-year-old star-director-adapter Kenneth Branagh's spellbinding version of Shakespeare's Henry
isn't superior to Olivier's 1944 version--it's different, and complementary to it.
Filmed mostly in medium and close-up shots, Branagh's more intimate version discards the pageantry of Olivier's grand spectacle; focusing on carnage and casualties, Branagh's film is strongly antiwar whereas Olivier's vision, filmed as a paean to England's greatness, was a morale builder for his
countrymen embroiled in a world war. Branagh's HENRY V is also a visceral coming-of-age film, following a young playboy prince as he is forced to...