Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Young Victoria, movie review

Posted by lea at 12:01 PM
The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend, is a snapshot of the youthful years in the life of Queen Victoria. It's a lovely movie without too much melodrama, which manages to encapsulate very elegantly the difficulties faced by the young princess who then becomes queen, and makes her relatable to a new generation. The life of royals is always of public interest, and this movie allows a glimpse into this privileged yet restricted world.

The actors were all very good - particularly the two leads (who are too good looking to be royals – not a buck tooth between them). Emily Blunt did a great job portraying the strength, stubbornness and occasional self-doubt of the young Victoria, and Rupert Friend was the perfect blend of gentlemanly concern and masculinity as Prince Albert, seeking how best to serve and partner his powerful young wife. The courtship and love between them is really the central focus of this movie, and the peripheral aspects of political powerplay are only touched on in direct relation to its effect on Victoria.

The sceenplay, written by Julian Fellowes (who wrote Gosford Park and has just been signed up to write Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) is quiet yet effective, which seems to be his trademark. The positive halo-view of England and English politics is more subtle than the usual in-your-face patriotism of US movies, but despite the unspoken monarchic-apologetic undertone of this movie, one can't help but feel that within the stifling palace walls, the royals can never really know what it is to be a normal person, and could it ever really benefit a country to have a leader so far removed from the common man?

Politics aside, The Young Victoria is an enjoyable movie and recommended viewing for those who enjoy a good drama that doesn't require things to be blown up to be fun.

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