Friday, 9 November 2012

A Royal Affair

Queen Caroline Mathilda with the Royal Physician.

Based on actual events and characters A Royal Affair (2012) is a complicated love triangle set in the 18th century Danish court between the rather immature Danish King Christian VII  (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard in his debut feature film), the German idealistic royal Physician Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen probably best known to British audiences as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006)) and the young strong willed Queen Caroline Mathilda a member of the British Royal Family who came to Denmark to marry the King (Swedish actress Alicia Vikander who we have seen recently in Anna Karenina (2012)). This passionate and forbidden romance became one of the most dramatic events in not only Danish but also European history.  

A Royal love triangle. 

Our story is narrated using the Queens letters and diaries and demonstrate how vibrant and intelligent she was and certainly someone who despite her breeding had a social conscience willing to risk all to change the system to improve the lives of the ordinary Danish people. With Christian accepting Struensee radical policies the three of them were able reform antiquated laws and for a period make Denmark one of the most socially aware counties in Europe.

The King with his adviser. 

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, who helped write the screenplay for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) it’s not just a sumptuously rich picture book of 18th century court life with its attendant costumes and scenery but has a tremendously strong story that intrigues and draws you in. The acting has a great deal of credibility allowing the movie persuasive reality that’s not always obvious in some period dramas.  Mikkel Folsgard won the Silver Bear for Best Actor and Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg won the award for Best Script at this years Berlin Film Festival. If you enjoyed Patrice Chereau’s La Reine Margot (1994) then I’m convinced your going to really appreciate A Royal Affair

The Queen.

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