1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Strong Characters Seem a Little Lost,
This review is from: Monarch [DVD] (DVD)
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This DVD is a superbly remastered release of the mid-90s film 'Monarch'. Starring T.P. McKenna and Jean Marsh, the audience experiences a night in the life of King Henry VIII and his courtiers following an attack. They hunker up in a manor house deserted except for the groundskeeper's son, unsure as to whether their attacker is planning another attempt on the King's life, or indeed whether it was an inside job.
The paranoia of the King is expertly acted, and offers a unique take on Henry VII. It is undoubtedly these performances which make the film entertaining, and McKenna is a real asset. Jean Marsh also puts in a strong performance as the wives of Henry VIII, with these scenes serving as the most dramatic of the . The primary antagonist of the film also plays his part very well, and his dialogue is very cleverly written. Unfortunately, as good as the dialogue is the plot isn't - the central idea is solid enough, but developments are confused and the ending really isn't explained at all. It seems like a lot of plot threads are discarded half way through, without a resolution of any sort. This greatly detracts from the enjoyability of the film.
The restoration itself is very well done, and there is really no difference between this DVD and any other standard definition film, which is a real credit to the restoration team. In terms of extra features, there's an on-set interview with T.P. McKenna, a retrosective on the film with the rest f the cast and crew recorded recently and a photo gallery. For me, the gallery adds nothing to the presentation, but the other two pieces are interesting looks at the production. Unfortunately, this cannot make up for the poor plotting of the rest of the film.