Henri 4

Henri 4

Henri 4

               Genre: drama, literature
               Religion, prison, France, escape, King, Saint Bartholomew, humanism

A failed mammoth work on the clash of religions

  One of the great works of literary history as a template, a renowned producer Regina Ziegler as a driving force, a big budget and a multinational cast, which is impressive on paper at least – is that enough for all the great history movie? If we Henri 4 by Jo Baier measures according to these standards, the answer is, unfortunately, clearly – it is no. In the story of the bloody religious war, which shocked France during the reign of Henri Quattre (1553-1610), had what it takes to tell beyond all historical facts about religion, fanaticism and delusion – theme, which also had the 21 . Century are still current. But not only this opportunity was squandered.

In the fast run, the film runs through the lives of the young Duke of Navarre, who came through accidents of inheritance, luck and battle an arranged marriage with the daughter of his arch rival Catherine de Medici was the first Protestant to the throne of France and with remarkable foresight Tolerance and tried to load the conflict between Huguenots and Catholics. But already the marriage, which really should bring peace between two warring religions, ends in disaster: The Massacre of St. Bartholomew the present Huguenots are massacred, Henri is one of the few survivors and must be a prisoner of his mother committed to Catholicism. Finally manages to escape to Navarre, from which he takes up the fight for religious freedom. This is the prelude to a private life filled with misfortunes and political successes as failures.

A life, especially since such a checkered is like that of Henri Quattre bring leinwandkompatiblen into a movie, hard enough. You notice that Jo Baier’s quite an ambitious project also implies that it is particularly strange in the beginning confused and erratic, and has hardly any of the numerous secondary characters have the opportunity to give your character, depth and transparency. In view of such a prominent casts the result of the actor’s effort is partly frightening. When one is aware of the weaknesses of the screenplay and directed to try some of the actors with wild facial expressions of their role, at least give a little more important – something terribly goes wrong in most cases and sometimes makes for unintentional comedy.

In the eagerly awaited premiere at this year’s Berlinale, the film was abgewatscht fairly. And so much like a film festival may sometimes go to the very immediate Herausposaunen of the ruling on the mind – a little one can understand the expressions of dissatisfaction already. There remains really only one recourse to Patrice Chéreau’s La reine Margot / St. Bartholomew’s Day of 1994, which features a sophisticated, more exciting and convincing picture of events than it has succeeded in Jo Baier. Given the huge sums that this has actually swallowed a prestige project conceived film, the result is hardly satisfactory in one respect. Who on this period of French history knows nothing, the film may be a first introduction. But be honest: is that given the enormous effort not a disappointing outcome?

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: Henri 4 Country of production: Germany, France Year of production: 2009 Length: 155 (Min) Distribution : Movie Central

Henri 4

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