THE YOUNG VICTORIA

2009

7/10

 

 

DIRECTOR: Jean-Marc Vallée

May Contain Spoilers!

Queen Victoria and her husband’s, Albert’s, reign had many accolades. The image of her is of the aging widow in later life has become burnt into the national conciousness but their legacy is long and illustrious. The terraced house, trains and countless technical and industrial innovations came under her rule as did her latter years spent as a recluse.

But there is little in popular culture which takes a look at what made one of Britain’s few Queens into the woman who she would become. The Young Victoria takes her as young woman and follows her accension to the throne and her romance with Albert and the other suitors which fancied the position.

Emily Blunt plays her quite well, as a strong and imperious young woman, fighting for her own mind to be both heard and respected, whilst wrestling with the establishment, afraid if women in power. This film has a lightness of touch, with the ability to present a view of 18th century England without going all Dickensian and maintaining a freshness, to both characters and setting.

This isn’t a feminist piece either and whilst taking a feminist stance with Victoria herself, the men are portrayed as three-dimensional characters who are both driven by good and bad motivations, as are the women, who are not whiter than white themselves. If anything, this is guilty of painting everyone but Victoria and Albert as grey whilst they are left glowing whiter than white. All in all, this is a fair coming of age story, well shot and presented in a responsable manner.

It’s not thrilling, nor as racy as films of this genre seem to be these days, but there’s enough here to garner some knowledge of the people and surroundings of the one of the most important era’s of British and possibly, world history.

 

 

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