Monday, 15 March 2010

The Young Victoria

So I sat down to watch 'The Young Victoria' last night, what with it being Mother's Day and all, (this being a typical mum's film) and a promise made to my mum that we'd watch it together.

Overall, I thought it a very nice movie - I hate to use the word 'nice' as it's rather dry but it was very beautiful to look at and the central performances by Rupert Friend and Emily Blunt were very strong. What I liked most was that despite the gleaming aesthetics of the costumes and the settings, all gilded and shiny, this aspect never took over the heart of the film which was good, strong writing (thank you Julian Fellowes :D); nothing too flamboyant or saturated with pomp, i.e not sensationalised greatly (when Victoria is dragged out of bed to be informed she is now Queen, well you couldn't get a less glamorous hand over of the crown). It was paced gently and every line in the film held its worth.

Undoubtedly the portrayal of the love between Victoria and Albert, though somewhat fairytale-ish on the face it, was in fact a slow burning candle and Friend and Blunt did well to show how effortlessly these two people 'fitted' together despite the union being initially arranged (my fave bit was when they come home after hunting and Victoria simply hugs her new husband from behind; so much said without any words, that's what film is all about). Blunt held her own beautifully as well, she has a face that demands your attention and I can't not mention the costumes that she wears - every one simply gorgeous. If I was Blunt I would have trouble parting with any of them! The rest of the ensemble cast all played their roles well, Harriet Walter as Queen Adelaide being a highlight.

The only qualm I have, is that it lacked a sense of urgency, or an event that could have made the movie a little more exciting? (It was rather tame) I don't know, I wanted 'something' to happen that would have Victoria draw out some strength and prove her worth a little more. When she and Albert argued, I loved it, I could have done with some more pivotal dramatic moments, though that may be just me.

Lastly, at the risk of sounding all patriotic, it did renew a sort of pride and awe in the crown and what it takes to be in such a position, especially in one so young. This may be in part to the fact that this film's snap shot of Victoria's young life is immediately apt to what I have been writing for one character of mine in 'The Sword & The Scion' but nevertheless, it did flag up those feelings (for those following my book, can you guess what character Victoria so aptly reflects?) It might have been in part to the film displaying how ridiculous the government were back in those times as they didn't seem to give two hoots about the poor and dispossessed of the nation, which only in turns renews appreciation that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were so active in this domestic domain. It made the government appear rather useless - nothing much has changed then I suppose.

Rating: 7/10

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