Movie: The Young Victoria
This week I went into town to see ‘The Young Victoria’. The past few years I’ve seen a fair few royal moving pictures, among which ‘The Queen’, ‘Elizabeth’, ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ etc. It’s very intriguing to watch all of them and eventually being able to connect the stories chronogically. If you’re not too familiar with royal history, this is a lovely way to educate yourself.
It’s apparent that the British royals are a very popular resource for movies. Even tv-shows, of which ‘Elizabeth I’ and ‘The Tudors’ are recent examples. (Tidbit: ‘The Tudors’ has been created by Michael Hirst, who directed ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’) Having watched a certain number of those movies and shows you can see a clear division between the overly dramatized and the fairly realistic. ‘The Young Victoria’ can be catagorized in the latter. With a movie like ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and a show like ‘The Tudors’ we’ve been made aware that facts aren’t that important to its creators. What’s more important is to engage and entertain the viewer, so a heavy dramatisation and a loose grip on history isn’t considered to be a sin with that purpose in mind.
However, it is a pleasure to watch a movie that is both true to life (as true as possible of course) and engaging. ‘The Young Victoria’ succeeds in both. Queen Victoria’s life story obviously lends itself for a lot of onscreen drama, but by the end of the movie all I could say is that the creators have done a fine job in keeping it classy and tasteful. They’ve clearly indulged on the visual side of things. The costumes and locations are a joy to behold. There are a dozen of lovely camera angles and tricks to look out for and Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend are incredible, their best performances to date. What I considered a lovely bonus is how much care has been taken of the casting. Most of the actors show a fair resemblance to the real royals. I was exceptionally surprised my Paul Bettany’s appearance, he’s barely recognizable.
There are obviously plenty of complaints when it comes to a movie like this. According to some people, this movie should have focussed on a larger part of Victoria’s young life, showing how she became responsible for the biggest turning point in the history of the UK. How people can expect one single movie to deal with a thing like that, a reigning period of 63 years, is beyond me. I prefer to consider this the beginning, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d see a few sequels in the near future. I normally detest the idea of a sequel, but in this case I certainly wouldn’t mind!