Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The Queen: a cute but too mild film
Stephen Frears has created a modest but interesting film that lies between fiction and documentary. The Queen refers to the recent past presenting the political and social implications of Princess Diane’s tragic death.
Queen was a risk. The only ones that had a special interest in its story were the Englishmen. Even those, however could be mortally offended by a film that criticized two of the fundamental institutes of the British country: the royal family and the British Government. Queen however rises up to the challenge and manages to create an interesting plot –even for the rest of the world- and describe both the Prime Minister and the Queen with humor and even sympathy. The social impact of Dianne’s death is described well. As the days go by more and more people come to pay their respects to the dead princess. The Queen however, hasn’t realized the mood of her people and considers Dianna’s death and funeral a personal, private matter. The ambitious and newly elected president, on the other hand, seizes the opportunity and taking advantage of the common feeling manages to gain popularity for himself and his party. As a result a crisis between the two head of British country develops. There is a continuous conflict among the Prime Minister and the Queen. The film manages not to take sides in this conflict. It explains the Queens behavior. She is treated as an old lady used to the ethics and customs of another era, unable to understand the modern times. She is the dignified restricted but still human. The Prime Minister even is the representative of a modern government comes to understand and sympathize with the Queen’s behavior and way of thinking. In the end both queen and Prime Minister manage to come to terms with each other and respect on another.
Frears manages to reach this delicate matter with sensitivity and without insulting any body. In my opinion however he presents a rather over optimistic and naïve aspect of the matter. All the characters are viewed in a positive light. The spectator only gets a small drift of the politics involved in the situation and the possible undercurrents and implications. Moreover the peculiar social obsession with the person of Dianne is scarcely explored or explained. The Queen remains a small cute film but too mild to become something more