British filmmaker Mike Barker directs the political costume-drama To Kill a King. Set in 1645 at the end of the English Civil War, General Thomas Fairfax (Dougray Scott) celebrates the victory with his right-hand man Oliver Cromwell (Tim Roth). While, King Charles I (Rupert Everett) is held prisoner, he appeals to the sensibilities of Fairfax's wife, Lady Anne (Olivia Williams). The old friends disagree over what to do about the king; Fairfax is willing to compromise and Cromwell is far more strict. The Speaker of the House, Denzil Holles (James Bolam), leads a group of conspirators to make an illegal deal with the king, but they are discovered and subsequently punished. The king is put on trial and executed, making Cromwell in charge. The conclusion involves a reunion between Fairfax and a dying Cromwell. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Sure, this movie takes a lot of liberites. Not the least of which is potraying Fairfax's wife as his concious. Just a plot device, but I thought it worked well. Inner dialog never works, so you have to have a character to serve that role. So the wife plays that role.
And I really enjoyed Tim Roth's version of Cromwell. He was just as I've always pictured him in my head, a religious fanatic egomaniac.
So overall I was riveted by the story. If you're a student of this period, you'll probably get annoyed by all the liberties taken, but I found the story riveting and complex.
I agree with much of what John H said above. I am fond of history but I'm not as familiar with theat period in English history portrayed here. Therefore, I cannot say which liberties were taken. All I can do is say that the movie gives a compelling story based on true events. I saw Cromwell as devoted to God but not over the top. I could understand how he comes to his unbending attitude. The king is masterfully manipulative and that actor played him well. Every character's actions are understandable and plausible. Despite being set in a civil war, it's not a gory bloodbath either. Tastefully done and well acted. Watch it!
The movie is not bad except the producers elected to portray Oliver Cromwell as a mental case, contrary to what any history book would tell you. This disapointed me especially because this is not a war movie or an action movie but an historical drama.