This is a film adaptation of a classic play that Shakespeare wrote early in his career. The story takes place during the Hundred Years War between England and France. A young King Henry V played by Kenneth Branagh, (a well known Shakespearean filmmaker), has just ascended to the throne of England. Many of Henry's trusted counsel feel that his youth and inexperienced will be detrimental to England. Henry decides that the best way to prove himself worthy is initiate a campaign against the French. The French throne incidentally, denies Henry's hereditary right to ascend to the French throne and sends him tennis balls as an insult instead of a traditional tribute. Henry is forced to change his entire personality and rallies his countrymen to a bloody victory in France. England's exhausted army, ravaged by war and sickness retreats towards their encampment at Calais, a large French force blocks them. This battle would become the historic battle of "Agincourt". This battle is depicted as historically accurate as Shakespearianly possible, there are some inaccuracies. For example, the English army had more soldiers than the French. Henry's army, decimated by sickness, casualties and exhausted from the march; were still victorious. .
The film's setting created the perfect atmosphere on the battlefield. Realistic scenes of fighting using weaponry of the era brought the viewer into the film. The photography coupled with the climatic musical score added to the excitement and drama. Although this film does not cover the historical background of the conflict between England and France in depth, it does and effective job of drawing the viewer into the film.
The film has a slight bias towards England and clearly depicts the French as the villains. Although much of the dialogue is in Shakespearean poetic verse and in French, there are several rousing speeches that set the tone for the upcoming scenes, especially before the battle of Agincourt.