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The motion picture “Elizabeth– The Golden Age” (2007) is a remake, or much better stated, a sequel to the film “Elizabeth” (1998 ). Both of the films include Cate Blanchett in the function of Elizabeth I, Queen of England. The story starts in 1585 and is controlled by the objective of King Phillip the II nd of Catholic Spain, a really effective empire at the time, to defeat and dominate England, ruled by a protestant Queen, Elizabeth. He is assisted by Queen Mary of Scotland, who secretly prepares to assassinate her cousin in order to take control of the throne.
Lord Francis Walshingham, who is committed to “the virgin Queen”, insists that she get wed, for the sake of the nation and individuals. Walter Raleigh, the handsome corsair, is accepted at the Court and called Sir. He will become captain of the Queen’s personal guard. The storyline is quite hard to follow, the areas the action takes location in are switched in a rapid rate, one moment we see opulent celebrations, the next, we witness arrests and abuse.
At one point in the motion picture, an astrologist, or better said, a prophet predicts the fall of an empire, without having the ability to say which one. There are many love intrigues. House maid of honor Bess falls in love with Walter Raleigh, in parallel with the Queen’s compassion, even love, for the more youthful corsair, culminating with the secret marital relationship of the 2, who will be banished by the Queen. The devoted Lord Francis unmasks the tentative to assassinate the Queen, thus saving her from the Jesuit traitors.
The motion picture pictures a powerful Queen, who is not even scared of death. Mary Stuart is implicated of treason, condemned and decapitated. These scenarios are used by Phillip the II nd to declare war. What follows is an avalanche of scenes cast in both light and darkness, fabulous decorations, flames, marching fleets and music in consistency with a tense environment. One of the most intriguing scenes is that of the kiss: the Queen asks Walter to kiss her, on the background of a burning flame, which appears to consume their very souls.
The film pictures a restless and authoritarian Queen whose rule represents the apogee of English absolutism. The Queen dressed in armour, riding a white horse, in the middle of the people she loved, follows the expression “to live or to die”. Scenes on dry land or on the sea, canons, flames, Catholic churches, burning ships, the storm, the powerful music, the stormy sea all precede Phillip’s defeat. Even his daughter and the Catholic priests dressed in red turn their backs on him. Queen Elizabeth dedicated her life to her people. A virgin, with no husband or children, she said “I am myself”. The movie stands out through the decorations, the costumes (Oscar) and the makeup.
The scenography was at the height of the movie’s heroine. The mature sovereign is superbly played by Cate Blanchett, who manages to recreate the image of the true Queen of England, who blended love with the intrigues of the Court, finally blessing her trusted Lord Francis on his deathbed, as well as the child of Bess and Walter, for whom she felt a powerful but secret love. The ending is explicative for the personality of the Virgin Queen – the mother of the entire English people.
Another interesting role is that played by Clive Owen (the corsair) who is torn between his passionate love for Bess and his respect for the Queen. The movie excels in recreating the epoch atmosphere, with the aid of sumptuous costumes, fabulous decorations, the presentation of the Catholic churches and the Spanish Inquisition. Despite the fact that it does not fully respect historical dates (heroes, ages, moments), the film succeeds in bringing to life the real Elizabethan England.
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