Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Review | Mary Queen Of Scots

Review | Mary Queen Of Scots


Never did I think I would go to the cinema and see a period drama about the Queen of Scotland, never mind actually enjoy it. Luckily when you put two, young and hot-of-the-moment actresses in the lead roles, you'll catch my attention, and probably the attention of other young film goers. It's a clever move, really. I feel like a bit of a fool in this case though, that i've been swayed by the marketing of a film solely based on the actors that are in it. For example, if it was two unknown actresses or actresses whom I was less a fan of, I probably wouldn't have gone to see this film...well, at least i'm honest! C'mon, how many times have YOU been to see a film because Leo Dicaprio/Ryan Gosling is in it? Anyway, point made, and on with the review.

Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie prove themselves to be versatile and actresses to be taken seriously in these roles, particularly Robbie who is un-recognisable in the second half of the film when she is left scarred and losing her hair. Nothing like the beautiful, stunning blonde that you've seen in Wolf Of Wall Street. Ronan is excellent as Mary and plays the part of a queen you wouldn't want to mess with and adopts a superb Scottish accent - no doubt not too hard to adapt from her Irish one. She sticks to her guns even when the (all male) opinions around her try to tell her otherwise. As the queen of France at sixteen and widowed at eighteen, Mary defies the pressure to remarry. She returns to her home, Scotland, to reclaim her throne. However, Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I, played by Robbie. Each young Queen beholds her sister in fear and fascination, never actually meeting till the end of the film in a suspenseful scene as the appearance of each queen is slowly revealed to the other.

I don't watch a lot of period dramas like this (can you tell) so it was quite eye-opening for me, to have an insight of how royalty used to live. What really interested me was that even back in the 1500's, there was still a lot of drama, gossip and scandal going on which hasn't changed much to this day. This kept the movie interesting, what would have otherwise been incredibly slow-paced and boring, was kept exciting with the occasional russle-tussle, battle or love scene...at one point Mary's face fills the entire screen having quite a grand time to herself, if you get my jist. There was the right amount of 'GOT' style drama going throughout, to keep the viewer entertained for over two hours. Though surrounded mostly by an all male cast, Mary would confide in her maids, and share with them her private life in relationships and love. I found these scenes to be revealing, uncovering the girl that lay underneath the facade. On the exterior, to her male employees she was the hard, powerful and straight-talking Mary Queen of Scots but the film allowed us to see briefly that she was just like any other young woman, but with a very out-of-the-ordinary role she had to perform each day.

Director Josie Rourke makes a brave debut in directing her first film, normally a theatre director, she has obviously acquired the right skills and knowledge to take on a motion picture. Rourke definitely got the right performances out of Ronan and Robbie and the movie succeeds with its good casting from the lead actresses plus smaller roles featuring Gemma Chan and David Tennant. As a first time director, Rourke shows she has all the right technical attributes of an experienced figure in the film industry but maybe plays it a little 'safe', however perhaps this was done on purpose, as she prefers to perfect her craft first, then surprise us in future features to come...

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