The title of this film says it all. The Young Victoria. The future Queen of England (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada) in her early stages. The imprisonment she feels at a young age which transforms into the struggles she faces during her ascent to the throne then the “young” mistakes following the start of her reign. Surrounded by a lavish and brilliant setting of the palaces you learned about in history, this drama instantly clutches you and at your delight, propels you through the history of this Queen’s life from start to finish to include her incredible romance with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, Pride and Prejudice).
As a young girl, Victoria feels she is imprisoned though she is viewed by most as a young girl who has anything and everything. She tells of how the grounds in which she lives are more like a cell to her than a beautiful palace and how she is so closely sheltered. Her mother, The Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson, Sleepy Hollow) and her mothers ambitious advisor Lord Conroy (Mark Strong, Sherlock Holmes) do their best to keep young Victoria out of the public view and as innocent and naive as possible so as to secure her dependence on them. Her closest and most trusted friend, her cousin, Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) tells her she had better learn to play the game she is being forced to play but to play it better so as to gain the upper hand. She takes not only his advice but an interest in him of romantic nature and so sparks the beginning of their relationship and it’s blossoming from a friendly one to a passionate one. Her uncle, King William (Jim Broadbent, Harry Potter…) who is nearing the end of his life, wishes to pass the crown and throne directly to his niece with no regent and this is what The Duchess of Kent and Lord Conroy plan to avert. They fail in their attempts and when Victoria is crowned Queen, her first act is a bold move of separation from her mother and Lord Conroy and she seeks a sole advisor, Prime Minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany, Wimbledon). It is then she is introduced to the inescapable difficulty of politics and her role as Queen. To help her education in this she turns to Lord Melbourne who is of great help…or is he?
The plot was an easy one as it was taken from a history book but the set and costumes were far less simple yet perfectly achieved. When watching this movie you feel as if it were taken directly from that period and placed on film rather than being recreated for motion picture. The costumes must have been worn by those the characters portrayed as they were equally perfect.
The editing, music and direction were just as impeccable as the costumes and set. If the film were lacking in anything, and mind you it didn’t lack much, it would have been the almost too carefree and playful attitude of Queen Victoria. It is hard to imagine a Queen to be, in that period, could be so rebellious and stubborn in such a wonderful way but even if it did not stand aligned with our current beliefs of the true Queen Victoria, it was perfectly written and performed by Emily Blunt. You couldn’t help but like this portrayal of The Young Victoria.
Many pass on the opportunity to see a “period” film as they know going into it the outcome thanks to our history books. This film embraced those history books but put an inviting touch on every aspect. The set, costumes, plot (though already laid out in past), casting and performances of those cast were superb. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for a wholesome movie which offers a little bit of history along with it’s drama, romance and entertainment.