Sunday, October 5, 2008

Being royal ain't all it's cracked up to be

I'm sure Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire would agree with me. Keira Knightely portrays "G" in the new film The Duchess. The Duchess lived from 1757-1806. In the film, she is shown to be a lively, cheerful, fun-loving girl who married into royalty and high society. Unfortunately, her husband (Ralph Fiennes) was a dull and boring man who only really loved his dogs. Being an upper class male in 18th century England, he could also do as he liked, which meant he cared little for the feelings and lives of others. He behaved in outrageous ways to his wife, while she was expected to smile and accept whatever he did. The film does have gorgeous costumes and scenery, but the story is a bit thin for its nearly 2 hour run time. There are long, drawn out, close up scenes of the Duchess simply walking from one place to another (down the aisle to get married, across a park to meet her lover, etc.). There are some amusing moments in the film, and the audience in the full theater where I saw the film laughed frequently. I'm not sure if the movie was meant to be a comedy, but the general theme of the film (women had no rights or options in those days) had to be lightened up in order to keep the movie from being a total misery fest.


Final Verdict for The Duchess: Three Gherkins, for beautiful costumes and scenery of 18th century England

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