Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Young Victoria - A Review

The Young Victoria is a dramatisation of the longest sovereign of England, Queen Victoria, in her early years as Queen. I was half expecting this movie to be like Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Alas, this one is a glimpse into the romantic life of the monarch.

Victoria (Emily Blunt) was controlled by Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong) and her German mother the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson) her entire childhood. When she succeeded the throne at the age of 18, she trusted Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) and nearly bringing the monarch to the brink. Then she married Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) and saved her throne.

There wasn't much surprise to the story since it is history. But some of the parts were rather comical, like Victoria talking back to Sir Conroy, or when Prince Albert running down the stairs to catch his letter from Victoria, or Victoria trying to draw noses or when they quarrel and Albert walked out of Victoria.

I will have to say that the plot development was super slow... And the things that made the movie bearable was the costumes, the set, and Emily Blunt's accent. The lines, especially those between Prince Albert and Victoria, was too cheesy, like hopelessly romantic cheesy... The soundtrack was nothing short of grand and sounded very full, as expected of a movie about a Queen.

But, really, the costumes are superb! It was classy and elegant, and very individualistic. Unlike other movies that set in that era, this one actually shows the difference tastes of different characters. The Duchess of Kent was always in her Magyar sleeves dress, Victoria was always wearing chest corsets, Lord Melbourne's costumes had embroidery and so on. They really deserved the BAFTA award!

Another thing that is enjoyable was the acting. The cast is made up of extraordinary actors with the likes of veterans, Mark Strong, Miranda Richardson and Paul Bettany. Mark Strong played the sore loser very well while I can really feel the regrets in Richardson's eyes when she lost her daughter.

But the really surprising performance was from Emily Blunt. I do not enjoy her performance in Devil Wears Prada because her face literally has only one emotion, stoned-face. But in this movie, she portrayed each emotion so nicely. Rupert Friend, on the other hand, looked like he had botox-injection before every scene. He was so stiff that he made every screenshot a very nice stoned-faced-model poster, but, really, a boring movie.

Ratings : 7/10. It would have rated 5/10 if it wasn't for Emily Blunt's performance and the very pleasing English accent!


Anonymous said...

He that travels far knows much...................................................

Marsha said...

Interesting... Never seen this in the news before though. Oh yeah, the Queen had a habit of describing Albert in very (saccharine) sweet terms like "my dearest darling angel" etc etc.


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