Royal love story ends in tragedy

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

of frock dra­mas will swoon over this well­crafted his­tor­i­cal drama from Dan­ish direc­tor Niko­laj Ar­cel. Set in the 18th cen­tury at the court of the men­tally ill King Christian VII of Den­mark, A Royal Af­fair re­counts the grip­ping de­tails of one of the most dra­matic events in the his­tory of the Scan­di­na­vian state. A tragic love af­fair ig­nites a po­lit­i­cal bon­fire in which the forces of lib­eral ide­al­ism threaten to over­throw the tra­di­tional stran­gle­hold of the Dan­ish no­bil­ity. The story be­gins when Christian’s cousin Caro­line Mathilde, the youngest sis­ter of English King Ge­orge III, leaves Bri­tain at 15 to wed the mad monarch. Their mar­riage is an un­happy union and the young queen is re­signed to de­spon­dency un­til she falls in love with the king’s physi­cian, who shares her in­ter­est in phi­los­o­phy. Re­forms are on the agenda for this pro­gres­sive pair, but the court coun­cil, des­per­ate to pro­tect their own self-in­ter­ests, are out for blood. The cor­rupt of­fi­cials even­tu­ally ex­pose the clan­des­tine ro­mance and plot the lovers’ down­fall. This saga is en­thralling right to its tragic end, although at just over two hours the film’s som­bre mood is a lit­tle too grave in parts. The film won sev­eral awards at the Ber­lin Film Festival, in­clud­ing Best Ac­tor for Mikkel Boe Fols­gaard as King Christian.

Dan­ish direc­tor Niko­laj Ar­cel

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