Young Victoria (2009)

Review by Boniface

 

The Young Victoria was easily one of the best films I have seen in a long time. This was surprising to me for several reasons: In the first place, I totally missed hearing about this film when it was in theaters and only heard about it the first time when I saw it on the shelf in my library. Second, I had never heard anything extraordinary about Emily Blunt, who plays the Victoria in the film. I was ready for a mediocre performance ala Natalie Portman or Kiera Knightley but was pleasantly surprised by Blunt’s very impressive portrayal of Queen Victoria at age 18. Her co-starr Rupert Friend, who played Prince Albert, also did a great job. It was pleasant watching each of them, and when they were together, the film became quite splendid.

 

The Young Victoria tells the tale of Queen Victoria’s assumption of the crown of Great Britain upon her eighteenth birthday. Prior to that time she had been under the restrictive care of her mother and her guardian, Sir John Conroy, who both did all in their power to keep young Victoria isolated from the English court while pressuring her to sign away her rights to the throne in favor of Conroy, who desires to be named Regent. With the aid of her friend (and later lover) Albert of Saxe-Coburg, Victoria manages to outwit her opponents and takes the crown of Britain at 18, going on to become one of the most successful and powerful British monarchs ever.

 

The themes of the film are twofold: One is about overcoming adversity with patient endurance, the other a romantic theme about the nature of romance and what characteristics make an ideal spouse. Both themes flow together in the life of the young queen and the film’s overall moral message is exemplary.

 

The cinematography is wonderful, especially if you like these Georgian-Victorian era stories like Pride and Prejudice or The Madness of King George. The film is replete with scenes of extravagant palaces, richly attired ladies and stiff gentlemen. The musical score is excellent, as well.

 

There is no language problems. The film is rated PG because of “smoking” and one scene of sensuality. The smoking scene is laughable; films should not be marked down for that. The sensuality scene depicts Victoria and Albert on their wedding night, but it is nothing serious: a few shots of them kissing then cut to them lying in bed together the next morning. Still, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this film for young kids, if for nothing else than the plot and the style of language in the movie will probably make it inaccessible to kids younger than 12.

 

But, for a good movie for husband and wife to watch together, I highly recommend The Young Victoria and give it my highest rating, three tiaras.