Well, it’s been a week now without any review or anything else… Shame on me for that one.
Todays review is about one of my favorite TV series ever: The Tudors. I have to admit that I haven’t seen the complete series yet, but all of the episodes starring JN. WARNING: This article contains spoilers!
I started watching this series, because I had heard of it and was quite interested in how they would have managed to portray King Henry VIII and his time. I was a bit skeptical, but the actors and the settings really convinced me of the high quality of this piece of art. It is quite hard to write a review about a whole series, so I’ll just stick to the character of Thomas More, who will be the most interesting one for those reading this article right now. 🙂
Thomas More is one of the more quiet and thoughtful characters, whereas Henry is portrayed as a young man following his temper, desire and lust. The one desire Thomas More has is to build a new world, where every human being is treated (more or less) equally. Both characters fit perfectly together as a student and his teacher. Henry really appreciates the advises More gives him. And therefore makes him his Lord Chancellor (long story cut short).
That’s the point where the viewer starts to figure out how More must have felt: happy about being able to change something, torn between loyalty to King Henry and loyalty to his own ideas and beliefs. JN once again manages it to show a broad range of feelings that the viewer can empathize with. After fighting the Lutherans he is suppossed to swear an oath on the King, which would take him far away from his own beliefs. The viewer understands, yes, he/she feels the inner conflict of More whether to swear the oath or not. He finally decides to refuse. On the one hand the recipient hates him for doing so, becaus he/she knows something bad is going to happen. On the other hand the recipient loves him for doing so, because he seems to be the only character to stand for his beliefs and to actually have a backbone.
Henry, although truly ‘loving’ More as an advisor and friend, sentences More to death for high treason giving him the chance to change his mind while being imprisoned. But More doesn’t. And Jeremy Northam translates Mores feelings most perfectly onto the screen. Still torn – now between living by swearing an ‘wrong’ oath and dying for his own beliefs. The portrayal of Mores last days is probably the best I’ve seen in a Drama TV series so far. The sorrow, the strong belief and his dignity is played so well, that I even had tears in my eyes seeing Thomas More defending himself in front of the high court and finally seeing him die for high treason.
If I would have to grade JN’s performance, it’d get a 10 out of 10. The whole series’d get 8 out of 10.