The Other Boleyn Girl was not the bodice ripping, lustful romance novel come to life style story that I was led to believe it was by some angled marketing. I expected to be quite the boring excuse to see Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson getting it on with Eric Bana. However, what it is in all actuality is a dark tale with a fiendish twist and enough muddled real history to anger scholars who care.
The Other Boleyn Girl was directed by Justin Chadwick and stars the three notable names I mentioned in the opening paragraph as well as Jim Sturgess, Kristin Scott Thomas, and David Morrissey. It is the story of two sisters being used by their family to gain power by seducing the king and becoming his mistresses. Their affairs are a one at a time ordeal with one being portrayed as innocent and loving and the other as a competitive and vile creature wanting it all for herself. Scarlett Johansson plays the sweetie and Natalie Portman the meanie. There actually isn’t a lot of sexual shenanigans on film under the PG-13 rating, but the plot gets down and dirty, with some of the nastiness coming as a plot twist I shall not ruin for you if you haven’t read about things already.
All of the acting in this movie is well done, even though the characters are fairly straight forward cut outs of extremes. As in the bad are really bad and the good are really good, without too much of reality blurring the lines. Unless you want to count some of the people in how they would like to act as opposed to how they strive for power and focus on such intentions. Really this movie makes everyone living in that time period seem like complete morons easily manipulated by the slightest spark of intelligence someone may have to do such. This aspect of gullibility treated so lightly would be my biggest complaint against the film probably, but ultimately the thing was visually strong and overall very entertaining.
As a fan of the movie Elizabeth and its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I would say that The Other Boleyn Girl compliments those films well and in a round about way could even serve as a prequel for movie collectors. So, if you liked Elizabeth I suspect you’ll like The Other Boleyn Girl.
The Other Boleyn Girl becomes a seedy tale indeed and historians can moan all they want about inaccuracies and how many decades were compressed into the short span of this film, but entertainment is the name of the game and this movie delivers with enough punch to maybe knock a few tears out of some who are prone to weeping at sad moments of tragic injustice. Just for quick noting, a couple of the gripes from historians involve the fact that Scarlett Johansson’s character is made out to be so pure and goody-goody when in real life they say she was known for “whoring” and this was the real reason the king only wished her to be a brief mistress. Also, Natalie Portman’s character has ruling powers longer in real life and was accepted in her position she gains more so than shown in the movie, which also depicts certain child births inaccurately as far as sexes of children and order of birth go.
Final word: good.