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Film Review - Elizabeth
I enjoy the costume drama much more than science fiction. The latter floats my boat, but the costume drama has the advantage that it could be true.
Elizabeth certainly has that feel. Elizabeth I, second daughter of King Henry VIII, is a Protestant. Queen Mary I, first daughter of King Henry VIII, is Catholic. This religious difference endangers Elizabeth's life (the Pope even sanctioned her murder) until Queen Mary I dies of cancer.
Elizabeth I is now queen, and inherits a weak England. The Spanish occupy British soil. The country is broke, and Elizabeth is flooded with advisors who are more interested in their power than the good of England. I pondered this last point during the recent news coverage of King Hussein of Jordan's death. I wondered if the regent, Crown Prince Abdullah, was going through the same power struggle in his court. Being a historical figure, I'm not spoiling the film by revealing that Elizabeth I makes England a rich and strong country. This rising up beyond what she would have dreamed as her abilities, to symbolically be wedded to England, and forever forsake men who might be suiting her for power rather than love, was Elizabeth's triumph.
As I mentioned, this is a costume drama and this is where the film's strength springs. Set lighting is depicted as being by candle light. And as were the sign of the times, the costume a character is wearing speaks volumes of their place in society.
Elizabeth then and now is a winner.
Directed by Shekhar Kapur
Released in 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo