Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Film Review: The Young Victoria (2009)

I was quite amused.

The Young Victoria is immediately engaging because, really, the costumes are just so darned pretty! The filmmakers obviously paid every bit of attention to convincing us that we were in England in the 19th century, and there's also the fact that in some scenes Emily Blunt, the young lady who's steely reserve and nerve make the film well worth watching, bears an uncanny resemblance to Queen Victoria with some of the hairdos and costumes that she wears.

So the costumes are convincing, as is the chemistry between Victoria and Albert (played with a sort of Hugh Grant affability by Rupert Friend), but the working of the plot doesn't always possess that spark. A few moments in the movie necessitate asking, "Wait, who's that guy?" and there's a particularly tricky moment in the middle of the film during a change in power in Parliament.

In short: If you don't know a decent bit about the relationship between the Queen and her majesty's government and the monarch's power to dissolve Parliament and force elections, there will be about ten minutes in the middle where you're utterly lost.

But that aside, the movie blends equal parts drama, suspense, good acting, and chick-flick cute romance between Victoria and Albert, and what dragged me into this film was that here, we're getting an image of a young queen who is passionate, in love, intelligent, capable, and affectionate. And it presages, as well, how Victoria would rebuild Britain's bureaucracy and lead a society through an identity crisis of science, faith, and advancement. She's not the dowdy old ma'am of the empire, the pouty woman who will tell you in a heartbeat that she is "not amused."

So watch The Young Victoria, and you will be quite amused.


Post a Comment