In “The Other Boleyn Girl” lies a story about love, betrayal, and sibling rivalry. Parents sometimes forcefully teach children to share; evidently this family took it too far.
Peter Morgan, screen play writer of “The Last King of Scotland,” (2006) adapts this story from the best-selling novelist Philippa Gregory. Since the Queen of England cannot bare children anymore, King Henry VIII begins a search for a mistress to produce a male heir to take over his legacy. The blind aspiration of a father and an uncle for power and endowment tears a family apart. With a dab of incest and an emphasis on adultery during the peek of the reign of the Catholic Church, “The Other Boleyn Girl” accomplishes unprecedented feats.
Natalie Portman’s (“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”, 2007) character Anne Boleyn, the eldest daughter of the Boleyn family was a very conniving and difficult person. Anger and hate is felt toward her throughout the entire movie. The strong feelings toward Anne provides proof of great acting by Portman.
The other Boleyn girl, Mary, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson (“The Nanny Diaries,” 2007) shines through the agony and humiliation due to her overwhelming lawfulness and capacity to forgive. Mary’s innocence commands the screen and grasps you. His majesty, King Henry Tudor VIII played by Eric Bana (Troy, 2004) was a very confused character. As a King, whose job is to make decisions for his country, he should have been more decisive about his choices.
“The Other Boleyn Girl” is set in England in the 1500s. The movie surrounds the limestone castle where the King resides. The grand manor was beautifully designed from wall to wall. The King’s castle portrayed many huge rooms with exquisite decoration, grand beds, and huge windows that projected sunlight into the rooms.
The costumes were elegantly designed and tailored. The vibrant colors and Elizabethan designs accommodated each character’s personality. The King’s costumes were always big and not form fitting, but used royal colors such as red, gold, and purple. The Boleyn girls were not twins but dressed similarly. Their dresses had the same designs but were in different colors. The elegant gowns consisted of tight corsets and unattractive head pieces. The jewelry was very flashy and demonstrated wealth.
Although the pace of the movie was adequate it did not make up for the unsatisfactory plot. Sure, the story consisted of historical moments but ceased to convey a realistic circumstance.
Despite its PG-13 rating, this movie should be appreciated by a mature audience due to graphic sexual content, violence and challenging language.
Justin Chadwick’s (Birdsong, 2009) directing was conventional, leaning toward a classical paradigm. The exposition and resolution of the movie were parallel. Chadwick had a keen sense of utilizing his entire cast. The director tastefully handled all the obstacles set by the best-selling novel turned screenplay.
Considering all the movie’s elements, from costume design, to characterization, to plot formation, the movie lacked certain redeeming qualities. The absence of true love and family loyalty was missing and longed for. Moreover, this film could be something more profound and impacting. Ultimately, this film engaged audiences from mid teens through mid twenties. Overall this movie could have been better, but should be seen because of its educational aspects.
BBC Films, Focus Features, Relativity Media, Ruby Films,
Scott Rudin Productions
Runtime: 115 min
Rating : PG-13
2 and 1/2 starts (out of 4)