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Customer Review

on 4 February 2012
The Other Boleyn Girl, the popular historical novel from Phillipa Gregory, has a feature film adaptation with Eric Bana et al going a bit Tudor on each other. Nevertheless, this version, a BBC TV movie, was made 5 years before that mainstream 2008 film, and it certainly shows.
This TV movie strips the tale of two sisters, who both end up being married to the notorious Henry 8th at one point in their lives, to nothing more then sibling rivalry of the Tudor extreme, love, sex... and of course, sex! Maybe because the director could not find something more innovative to pitch this screen adaptation, set during an eventful period of Tudor-reigned British history then with - you guessed it- sex.
With more handy-held camera work then the average Blair Witch Project fan film, the camera work is a bit hectic, where the camera operators seem to be told to go off and make shots of some castles interesting. Even the application of some infrared camera work seems laughable, for one running-girl-in-the-night scene. The sound operators must have had problems throughout the tight scheduling of filming dialogue, before being punctuated by a sex scene, in this so-called costume drama, as in places you felt that you can hear the countryside more then the uninteresting dialogue.
The performances are noteworthy, taking into account that the script is generic at the best of times, particularly Jared Harris portraying Henry 8th as- um- any screen representation of Henry 8th. So Harris plays this king as the greedy jerk, who all he wants from his wife is a baby boy- so, for those that have any knowledge about this Tudor king, can work out what Anne Boleyn- played by Jodhi May without much distinction- can work out then Henry doesn't enjoy Anne's babies that much.
Whilst this adaptation is at best- if you dare put it- a watchable screen adaptation of the popular novel, it is forever flawed with cheap and nasty production values. You are best seeking out the 2008 film that had a more entertaining approach to this Tudor love triangle, without relying on the sex scenes to tell the story.
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3.5 out of 5 stars