Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Queen

The cinemas here are showing The Queen twice a day. Fearing that it won't be shown anymore, I left work at six sharp to catch the movie at 6.50 p.m. Managed to get to the cinema at Vivocity with an extra 10 minutes to spare.

The cashier was kind enough to let us know that, "There will be advertisements for 15 minutes and the show will start at 7.05." How about that?

I shall take note of this. I think almost all shows at GV has this 15 minute advertisement block, which in my book, is too long.

Anyway, The Queen is an excellent movie, with a superb performance by Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. She totally deserved the Oscar nomination - she was restraint, dignified and solemn in dealing with the death of Princess Diana. That was the way she was brought up, which was to keep emotions to herself. She has to appear strong for her people, duty first and personal second.

And the ONLY way she knows proved to be wrong.

The British public accused her of being heartless and her silence on Diana's death for 5 days was a wrong move. Tony Blair, played by Michael Sheen, helped her to regain the public's opinion andview of her (apparently, 1 in 4 wanted to abolish the monarchy) by managing to convince her to give a "tribute" to Diana, on live TV screened to the whole world.

Taken from IMDB:
It is hard to separate what is fact and what is made-up in this film. Many facts are certain because you see historical footage of the bunches of cut flowers growing in front of Buckingham Palace and the then President Clinton making a statement and many clips of Princess Diane throughout her life. But the many behind-the-scenes conversations had to be invented or recalled, so it has to be part fiction and part fact.

The monarchy is not treated kindly in this film. Prince Philip comes off as insensitive and a bearer of grudges. Prince Charles appears to be weak. Queen Elizabeth II, played brilliantly by Helen Mirren, comes off as reserved and complicated. And Tony Blair, played convincingly by Michael Sheen, trumps the royalty by being real and wise and likable.

The storytelling is compelling. Even though you know what will happen, you are intrigued by how the characters get to their ultimate positions.

In the end, Queen Elizabeth II and Tony Blair display a profound love for their country. It is really a story about public dignitaries trying to do the right thing for their country and their families.

I was especially moved by the actual footage of the mourning and grief of the British public. I still remember exactly where I was when it happened. I was at a hotel for dinner; it was a Prefectorial Board dinner at a hotel in PJ.

I went teary-eyed a few times. As was said in the movie, even though people do not know her personally, Princess Di was well-known and well-liked for her charm and her charity efforts worldwide for landmines and AIDS.

Go watch it, it is highly recommended. IMDB has a rating of 7.7 out of 10. I would rate it a 4 out of 5.

And I promise that the next post would not be another movie! ;P


William said...

I was at Selesa Hillhomes when I heard the news about Lady Di. She died the same year as my father and Mother Theresa.

Magus_Young said...

Lovely comments bout the Queen, couldnt have sed it better, I personally felt empathy for the Queen after this movie...