The King’s Man – The Origins: Vaughn plays with the history of the twentieth century by stroking its romantic side

This article tells about the film The King’s Man – The Origins by Matthew Vaughn in a format that intends to be more than a simple review: the aim is to go beyond the meaning of the film and provide an analysis and explanation of the ideas and dynamics that gave birth to it.

Over the last few years, several films have staged the bloody events of the First World War, mostly edited by British directors. The land of Albion, which figures among the winners of the First World War, seems to have expressed in these films a sort of profound ode to its fallen, without forgetting that the epic battles of the Short Century also inspired several writers who would later were destined to unspeakable successes: for example the Battle of the Somme, where the Anglo-French troops launched an offensive against the German troops and won but with a large number of losses, shocked Tolkien so much, as to bring also in the literary saga of the Lord of the rings some of those indelible memories. (Ironically, among the defeated Teutonics there were also a very young Adolf Hitler and Otto Frank, Anna’s father).

In this case, however, the London director Matthew Vaughn, after the success of the first two films Kingsman-Secret Service And Kingsman – The Golden Circle launches a prequel imbued with that British style of the past, watering it down with some small criticism of colonialism. If the director tries to strike a slightly serious tone, emulating both Sam Mendes and Guy Ritchie, he fails to capture the spirit, but the work is still packaged well for the general public. Setting aside one of the emblems of British acting style like Colin Firth, this time Vaugh takes Ralph Fiennes as the point of reference of a film that is certainly improved by an inspired cast and which should have been “exploited better”. In addition to Fiennes, other top actors appear such as Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Daniel Brühl and above all Rhys Ifans. In fact, the Welsh actor in the role of the Russian monk Rasputin manages to recreate a character within a character with dance strokes and fearful perversion.

The King’s Man – The Origins | Official Trailer

Precisely for this reason he probably should have represented a villain with an even greater playing time. The mysterious organization, nemesis of the Kingsman and which could also remind Ian Fleming and the Specter of him, acts through advisers to heads of state who heavily influence the choices of their rulers. Precisely in this there is a meeting point with reality and how Rasputin severely binds the Tsar Nicholas II and above all the Tsarina Aleksandra Fëdorovna taking advantage of their weaknesses, and which then led them to a tragic epilogue. Special praise also goes to the Oxford actor Tom Hollander, who takes on the role of playing all three cousins ​​of the then European aristocracy: King George V of England, William II of Germany and Prussia and Tsar Nicholas II. A perfectly fitting choice, also because the three rulers had an incredible resemblance.

The war events are crossed by merging with the family dramas of the Duke of Oxford Orlando / Fiennes and mark a Vaughn who with this work wants to aim for a top-level cinema, but which still touches, trying to borrow from the best. The twists and turns that mark the entire work and that praise the adage: The stronger your fear, the more likely it is to come true“, are well filtered by a well-created atmosphere also thanks to the photography of Ben Davis and endowed with a levity that has its origins in the graphic novels of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. The uchronia that defies historical canons, and in this draws above all from the Tarantinian Bastards, will probably open up to a sequel to the prequel that will involve Hitler and Lenin, considered as the face of the same coin, seeming perfect for the era of revisionism and goldfish culture that we are going through, and which could probably make not only historians turn up their noses but also the very concept of truth.

The very idea of ​​a dark power that tries to mess up the peace plans of the planet has always been a concern of man, and in some cases there have also been unequivocal confirmations in leading us to this way of thinking. IS precisely this theme, also widely used in cinema mixed with the traits of “Old dear England” which will guarantee the fortunes of this kind of British films for years to come, which in the “historical cultural” field have always managed to sell very well, often churning out little masterpieces.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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