9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Other Boleyn Girl [DVD]  (DVD)
This is a BBC production - partly improvised - and has an excellent cast including Steven Mackintosh and Jodie May. It has a gritty, stark and sparse feel and is atmospheric. But is not a great or particularly memorable production. Here, we have the usual, predictable representation of Anne Boleyn in a very unfavorable light. Forgetting that she was was actually a charming, witty and cultivated woman who captivated many a heart.
Neverthless, using the material from the Philippa Gregory hit(if historically inaccurate)book, this drama more or less paints the image of Mary Boleyn as a sweet and good natured girl, out shined by her bitchy and grasping sister who becomes queen and pays the ultimate price. A boring and unimaginative premise. We don't know much about Mary Boleyn, but we do know that she was mistress to both the French king and Henry VIII - she was hardly an innocent. the idea that Anne Boleyn even contemplated incest with her brother is rather tasteless - one of the charges against her was that she slept with her brother. But then again, portraying a nasty bitch is always going to make great copy.
The wonderful cast do what they can with the script and any innovations but its a thankless task. This is a cold little drama and if you have any historical bent you'll concede that the real Anne Boleyn would probably never be seen dead in the ugly outfits and headress that May wears. Get a copy of the brilliant BBC classic The Six Wives of Henry VIII instead and we'll call it quits ....