Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lady Jane - 1986 ****

Another film I've wanted to see for ages which I can tick off my list. And captivating it was too.

One of the things that is so upsetting about films like this is how utterly despicable the monarchy was in the 16th century. Putting innocent people to death to make a transaction easier for a new Royal, bullying people into taking the crown and then throwing it back in their face when they can's rule the country like their advisors want etc.

Jane Grey was a poor unfortunate girl, and she really was only a girl of 16 when she was ordered to take the crown despite being against the idea, and become married despite feeling that she was too young (there is a scene that shows her being whipped until nearly unconscious by her mother when she disagrees with the idea) and then was ultimately beheaded for treason on account of her being Queen (along with her husband Guildford) when she had never really wanted to be in the first place, hence her being known as the Nine Day Queen, and as her mother chillingly put it towards the end of the film 'If she is the Nine Day Queen then what happens to her on the Tenth?'. In these times it seems like people in the moarchy really couldn't trust anyone, even their family, and it was incredibly sad to watch Jane's world collapse as her parents ordered her to do more and more without a thought for her own feelings. Only being a child she didn't have a clue what ruling her country meant (her first wish when she became Queen was to have a batch of real shillings made for her!) and was forced into marrying someone that she didn't know (although in the film she eventually falls in love with him) yet again by her parents, whose plans of grandeur overtook the feelings of their own daughter.

A stunningly acted piece, both from Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes who play the doomed lovers, with extra support from Patrick Stewart (again!) and Michael Horden. A masterpiece of a tragic event that could have been avoided, like so many other monarchy fatalities.

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