29 June 2007

Movie Review: The Queen

Rented The Queen on Pay-Per-View. We'd been thinking about it for a while and finally sat down to watch it last night. We'd heard all sorts of good things about it but it's not exactly light entertainment.
Having said that, I was impressed with the character studies. Helen Mirrin as HRM is nothing short of brilliant as is Michael Sheen's portrayal of Tony Blair. And it is the interaction between these two people in the days following Diana's death that is what the plot turns on.
I liked that the humanity of both individuals ultimately comes through despite appearances to the contrary. I also liked how they consistently showed the reasons behind the actions or inactions, and how easily people assume a different motive. The film's pivotal theme explores the question of private versus public, a line that's been blurred a lot in these tabloid times. Also, there's the amazing imagery of a 14 point stag at several places in the film. We disagreed about what it meant but as this is my blog I'll provide my interpretation. ;-) I saw the stag as a representation of the pride, strength and, yes, majesty of the Queen as well as the stag, and the Queen, being easy prey because of all these characteristics.
Also, I have to give props to James Cromwell for his very effective portrayal of Prince Phillip. He's the same actor who's probably best known for his role as Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family! And the person who played Prince Charles, Alex Jennings, did a fine job of acting but was so different looking from Charles that it was distracting. He definitely got the walk and general bearing down though.
It was a short film, 1 hour and 40 minutes, but it's enough. It's well crafted but still left me wanting.
I give the film 2.5 out of 4 jujubees.

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