Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria follows the early years of Britain’s longest serving monarch Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) through to her marriage to Prince Albert (Rupert Friend).  

All the usual ingredients of a costume drama are present and of course that is a good thing.  Where would a costume drama be without the flamboyant dresses, beautiful countryside or the complicated dances?  

The ingredients were all present but that does not mean to say that they were there in the right quantity, mixed together correctly or were cooked at the right temperature.  What this ridiculous metaphor is attempting to say is that although it had the makings of a great drama it did fall short.

As with all stories following the British monarchy we are treated to life at court, conspiracy and conniving but this all fell quite short of the mark.  The viciousness or desperation that makes such good viewing just wasn’t there.   It felt as though it was all just mentioned in passing.  The ever dependable Paul Bettany as Lord Melbourne and Mark Strong (who is everywhere these days) as Sir John Conroy were very watchable at trying to play the political game but to be honest very little happened.  

The best scenes in the whole movie were those that focused on Victoria and Albert.  Their game of chess was filled with tension and absorbing to watch.  Although the movie was clearly about Victoria’s younger years I think that it should have focused more on her life with Albert  They had nine children together and lived happily together up until Albert’s death.  The fact that she lived for almost forty years without her sole mate is heartbreaking and this would have given some good strong emotional scenes but this opportunity was missed.

The music was actually very imposing and the coronation music actually sounded like the start of the Champions League coverage which was also very distracting

It was a very enjoyable movie but it just lacked that defining moment where Victoria transformed from this sheltered teenager into a strong willed women who reined supreme.  It gets a 7/10.  

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