Thursday, July 05, 2007

Movie Review - The Queen

This movie is indeed one among 'a few of a kind' (as opposed to the previous one I reviewed). It is not often that you would get to see a realistic yet entertaining portrayal of a seemingly uninteresting but poignant event. The event in this case was the official reaction of the Queen to the erstwhile Princess, Diana's death.This movie paints a brilliant satire, touching at times, of the ugly nationwide reaction to the passing of Diana, and the very dignified royal response. This is one movie, that I never wanted to end.

I had watched Judi Dench play different queens a couple of times, and Cate Blanchet play another, once. I thought all those representations were partisan, compared to Helen Mirren's performance. Remarkable. The seemingly strong, and poker faced queen, who never 'wears her heart on the sleeve', letting the emotions break through the surface just a few of times in the movie... Each time it happens, you are rewarded with a glimpse of how much work must have gone into the wonderful screenplay. It is a wonder Mirren has not been recognized for any of her earlier roles.

The movie, in one angle, revolves around the Royal family's displeasure at Diana's comportment. The narration begins the day before she dies. The family's resentment to her behaviour when she was alive, turns into quiet withdrawal on hearing of Diana's passing. This is twisted into 'arrogant indifference' by the preyign media, the second angle, and whipped up into a frenzy.
The third angle, is that of Tony Blair, who is but a few months into his first term. He, at first seems to have the legendary british sarcasm towards the Monarchy, and wants to modernize it in every way. He then understands the enormity of the situation he has to handle, first up, and in a quick turn of fate becomes the advisor to the Queen. The rest of the movie is about how a compromise is struck between Blair's intent to not harm the monarchy, and the Queen's rigidity in preserving tradition.

Every third party reaction is treated with extreme satire. Be it the crowds that wept outside the Palace or the extreme rudeness of the media. The tongue in cheek portrayal of how the Duke of Spencer's (Diana's brother) direct blaming of the media for her death in the early hours of her death, turns into a direct attack on the Monarchy during her funeral... suavely done.

The funeral in itself is covered in a tongue and cheek manner with an emphasis on the celebrities no way connected to Diana attending it... just so that it gets media coverage. The dialogues are regularly interspersed with what all of us would have thought at that time... when we see people completely otherwise unnafected by Diana, acting up like their entire future has been destroyed.
Among the movies I have watched over the last couple of months, this is perhaps the best... better than The Prestige by quite a bit.

4 comments:

cognitive displaysia said...

hear hear da loori, i felt the same way when i saw it ..

there are two parts i liked a lot in the movie..

one where she argues (i think to charles) about why she doesn;t "wear her heart.." saying "this is what we are known for and respected for"

the second is her rendition on t.v. btw you tube la paaru..the actual speech by the ueen..remarkable da!!

i would love to see more movies like this!!

recenta i saw volver and good night and good luck..not avalo good as queen but you should see them nonetheless.

reco any good ones

Escape.... Great Escape said...

I watched Good Night and Good Luck.... reminded me of the insider a bit, but yet about a guy with good intentions and power, but not enought to do anything about a blatant attrocity.

I havent watched Volver (listen to the song though, pretty good)... Have you watched "Tristam Shandy... a Cock and Bull story".. i have heard vrey good things about it.

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Some excerpts from her speech... that the movie put a whole new perspective on.

1. Millions of others, who have never met her, but felt they knew her... will remember her.

2. I for one, would think that there are lessons to be learnt from her death and the extra-ordinary reaction to it

3. We should join in thanking God for giving us someone who made many... many people happy.


Lovely Movie.

vigneshwaran shanmugam said...

i was told that the movie is boring...but after ur review..im very keen to watch the movie