‘We must act!’
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the sequel to the first Elizabeth film, and it is about the threat of the rule of Queen Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett) and the relationship between her and Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) as he develops a relationship with her favourite, Elizabeth, otherwise known as Bess (Abbie Cornish) as she uncovers the treason plot involving Mary Stuart. It also stars Geoffrey Rush and Eddie Redmayne in one of his first roles (It’s quite obvious that it’s one of his first acting roles because of the drama school approach that he brings to his character). I also vaguely remember watching bits of the first Elizabeth film when I was younger.
Generally, the costumes look really good. There is a scene where she’s the only one in yellow and the rest are in grey, or a better example is the position of her being lower than Walter Raleigh, suggesting an abuse of power and despite the fact that she is queen, he has more authority. Clive Owen’s costumes looked brilliant and he suited them along with the majestic and dark good looks that brought his charming character forward. Cate Blanchett looked brilliant as Elizabeth as she always is and the other cast were ok. The editing also played a good part of the film in conveying a level of violence and sexual or romantic tension, an example being the regular use of the 360 degree shot.
However, I felt that the film was a bit too rushed and they gave up towards the end. The rude scenes in the middle slowed down the pace to the point where I switched off at some point and they never really got to the point. All star casts used to amaze me and now they annoy the hell out of me. It just shows that you have the fancy costumes, the top actors that you can get, the best sets and props, the best camera techniques but below all that it’s basically a sunken sponge cake. Cate Blanchett had a flawed character with a bit of a temper, and I liked watching her mood dramatically change until she was quite literally a bit of a drama queen. Abbie Cornish was also very stunning. Clive Owen looked really fit in costume but I can’t help feeling that if you want a decent Clive Owen film, go and watch something like Children of Men or Closer or maybe even have a go at watching the Knick because he puts a more emotional performance into those roles rather than just looking hot, occasionally giving some excitable girl a smoldering look, reciting deep lines and standing around in fancy Elizabethan outfits. Moreover, he gives a lot of promising charm to his character and I loved it whenever he came on screen, right from when he first appeared with his smoldering looks and fantastic stage presence. His performance kept me engaged in the film, and I generally admire his as an actor, which is the only reason why I bothered to watch this film. The ships that they used within the last half hour or so of the film looked really good and I might use the scenes involving water as inspiration for an art project.
If my mother ever watched this film, she would probably critize it heavily due to the inaccuracies. If I wanted an accurate portrayal, I would watch a documentary about Elizabeth I,but Hollywood seem to be obsessed with making very dramatized films and adding all star casts into it.
Brilliant cast, great sets, costumes and an interesting colour palate made up of yellow and black and orange. Big budgeted films need to realize that there needs to be a flow of plotline beneath all that, and Elizabeth:The Golden Age gives up on it towards the end. They were probably also trying to show that she was an independent woman and a strong leader through obvious symbolism and camera angles.
Generally, I might give this film another go if I really had to but for now I’ll stick to books.