ARRAY(0xb5bf4ee8)
 
Customer Review

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLOSE CALL, 11 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Queen [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
There are several themes to this excellent and most original and interesting film; but what it is about more than anything else is how political regimes and whole dynasties can be undone on account of a single error of judgment. It is only near the end that Her Majesty warns her prime minister that this will happen to him, and happen suddenly and without warning. It had nearly happened to her, he had been the saving of her on this occasion, and her dire prediction for him probably holds an uneasy message for herself too.

At the start the Queen is full of regal self-assurance, neatly putting her boyish and slightly nervous novice of a prime minister in his place by telling him he is sitting where Churchill once sat. In next to no time the positions are reversed, as Blair's acute political antennae tell him that HM is in imminent danger of losing her subjects' allegiance, something that would have been unimaginable only days previously, through trusting her own judgment and listening to the advice of her husband and her mother in respect of how to react to the death of Princess Diana. Throughout the crisis Blair is adroit and sure-footed, the monarch is made to realise bitterly from the newspapers how he has it right and she has been hopelessly at sea, but unlike her family counsellors she has the wit to swallow her pride and retrieve the situation before it slides beyond retrieval. This one incident could have undone a lifetime of unswerving dedication, universally acknowledged, to her country, and put the skids under the House of Windsor itself. Her warning to Blair is really made from a new sense of respect and a shocked realisation of how quickly and brutally the tables can turn. And how right she has been. This film does not make the matter explicit, but any viewer can sense the irony of Blair's own political fate. For years he seemed unable to put a foot wrong as far as the public were concerned, his luck was near-incredible (and his political nous was enormously greater than Churchill's); and then he blew it all with one foolish and ill-considered assertion in the Commons about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Just one mistake, when one is not sensing danger, is enough.

The depiction of the main players is brilliant, and I found it fascinating to guess just how accurate it may be. Leaks, rumours, gossip and memoirs certainly descend on the public these days like leaves in Vallombrosa, giving us some shaky basis for forming a judgment. In the nature of the case a prime minister has to make himself (or herself) familiar to a rightly suspicious electorate, but a monarch should always retain some mystique, and the other dramatis personae, even the heir to the throne, are only intermittently in the limelight. Inevitably and rightly the film's characterisation is creative, but it is coherent and convincing provided one does not mistake it for portraiture from life. The acting has been widely praised and I concur entirely. The atmosphere is beautifully touched in too, from the family life of the Blairs (and the Windsors) to the blokeish informality of the New Labour apparatchiks in Downing Street and above all the hushed flunkeyish reverence accorded to the Queen, cocooning her in the chrysalis that nearly devoured her.

I hope there is no possibility of a sequel, as a masterpiece like this should be left unique. Within days now Her Britannic Majesty will be welcoming a new prime minister whom she probably suspects of being a closet republican, as I suspect he is too. I shall be watching out all the same for one thing that this film says clearly through the lips of Cherie Blair, something to the effect that all Labour prime ministers finish up devoted to the Queen. Maybe it will be the same story with Brown, but I wonder how matters will stand once the monarch is no longer Elizabeth II. When that becomes the case the story of Princess Diana is likely to open a new chapter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.9 out of 5 stars (145 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (63)
4 star:
 (37)
3 star:
 (24)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (10)
 
 
 
19.99 4.50
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

DAVID BRYSON
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Glossop Derbyshire England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 288