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A meditation on power, and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III (now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder). As he loses his senses, he becomes both more alive, and more politically marginalized, neither effect desirable to his Lieutenants, who jimmy the rules to avoid a challenge to regal authority, raising the question of who is really in charge.
For those who, like myself, were disappointed in the play, the film contains pleasant surprises, all of them resulting from differences between the two arts.
January 01, 2000
Hytner's version of Bennett's comic-tragic drama of the tormented king who almost lost his mind confirms that power games, family scandals, and personal intrigues have always been integral to the British Crown, an institution both revered and reviled.
August 22, 2006
Globe and Mail
Hawthorne is by turn outrageous and pathetic and imperious and poignant and very funny.