Starring: Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley
Director: Ken Hughes
Running Time: 139 mins
Cromwell is a British film about the life of Oliver Cromwell, who rises to prominence in the 17th-Century English Parliament and takes on the dictatorial King Charles I, leading to the English Civil Wars that change the destiny of his country forever.
Ok, this film is factual and definitely an interesting biography about a fascinating man, with a few great performances. However, it is one of these longer historical biopics that are so factual and heavy-going that they do become quite tough to slog through due to their slow-pacing and little regard for any emotion or real drama, which was the main problem.
Let’s start with the fact that this is just too factual to be properly fascinating. I’ve got nothing at all against a good historical biopic, and this is definitely a good historical biopic, but I really struggled here to keep a full interest in a film that is about as dry as a history textbook written on a wooden plank.
It is educational and informative, but the majority of the film, most surprisingly the battle scenes, seemed pretty void of any emotion or proper drama, which was really disappointing to see, as it turned this film which at times did focus very well on Cromwell as a person into something that just didn’t provide any deeper intrigue for me.
Despite all that, it’s still interesting to watch. The main two characters, Oliver Cromwell and Charles I, are the most interesting to follow, seeing as how controversial and opposing they are, and they’re helped along by two fantastic performances by Richard Harris and Alec Guinness respectively.
Meanwhile, there’s a whole lot of action here too, and while the majority of the story focusses on political discussions, the action sequences are particularly brutal, which added a little bit of excitement to this biopic.
Overall, this gets a 7.1, because despite being an interesting historical story, it’s just too heavy on the facts to get you properly intrigued.