The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl

Directed by Justin Chadwick

Rated PG-13       Runtime: 115 minutes

The story of Anne Boleyn and Henry Tudor is one that most people know or have at least heard of. Although it is well known it is one that is also shrouded in secrets. This movie, “The Other Boleyn Girl” gives us a picture of what the relationship that we all know might have looked like, and then twists to show us the secrets and the rumors as to what may have gone on in this kingdom.

The film begins in a time when all of England, including the king, was in fear that their beloved queen would be unable to produce a male heir.  This fear was tearing apart the powerful relationship between King Henry, played by Eric Bana, and his Queen, played by Ana Torrent. Due to these circumstances, the Duke of Norfolk, played by David Morrissey, instructs his neice, Anne Boleyn, to seduce the king when he comes to visit. The Duke and Anne’s father believe that if she seduces the king it will place their family in a place of power and favor.  Anne seems quite successful in her attempts to distract the king until she causes an accident on a hunting trip which leaves the king injured. This accident puts her out of favor with the king. The quick thinking and manipulative Duke realizes that their chances for power are slipping through his finger tips. He then sends Anne’s younger sister, Mary, who is played by Scarlett Johansson, to care for the king and to be yet another distraction.  The king is quite taken with Mary and when he leaves orders that she, along with her husband, come to serve in court. Mary and her husband both understand that they are being brought to court so that the king may have access to Mary whenever he pleases. But, with no choice, they move to the castle to participate in the royal court. The king quickly takes Mary as his mistress and she quickly falls in love with him. Mary then becomes pregnant. Mary along with her family rejoice at this news, yet there is a cause for concern as Mary is put on bed rest for her safety and the safety of the child she is carrying. The Duke of Norfolk fears that with Mary on bed-rest the king will find “comfort” elsewhere. In an attempt to still keep power within the family, he once again calls on Anne to keep the king occupied. Anne, on the other hand, has plans of her own. She has no interest in protecting her sisters status, she is only interested in elevating her own. Anne seems to have no shame or thoughts for anyone else as she destroys relationships and peoples lives while manipulating and seducing her way to the top.  Much to Anne’s dismay, things do not always go as she has planned and very soon everything crumbles around her.

With so many talented actors it is no surprise how these characters seem to come to life on the screen. As Eric Bana arrives for his first visit with the Boleyn’s he walks onto the screen and exudes the power and masculinity that would be expected of a king such as Henry Tudor. Eric Bana’s performance causes you to feel compassion for Henry Tudor. You can plainly see the struggle that the king is faced with when it comes to all the women that he claims to care for in one way or another, even though it seems that his trouble is somewhat self-inflicted. The character of Henry is a complicated one, yet when you can walk away from a movie feeling as though you understood what they were going through, whether good or not, the only thing you can say is that there had to be some good acting there.

While the acting,the scenery, directing, and costume design were all superb, it would seem as though they forgot one thing. The accents! Many of the actors, while playing the role of their characters magnificently, seemed to slip in and out of their accents that already left something to be desired. If they could have tried to hold onto what little accents they had, the movie would have been that much more enjoyable. It is plain distracting when you have an actor, who is supposed to be English, sounding very American. Maybe next time.

Overall, I think that this movie was very entertaining. There have been much worse attempts at accents with a lot worse acting. So if you can look past the few flaws that this movie has, and I really do mean few, then this movie could be very enjoyable.

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