The Queen and Il Divo have a lot in common. They both are about a specific time in nineties politics, involve an actress or actor transforming into a person that is still alive and telling their story, and have gorgeous cinematography that conveys the unique sense of country that the story is set in. While Il Divo is a witty commendation of a corrupt politician, the Queen is a loving portrait of a woman who has no other choices but to mourn publicly in order to save her image. Which one do you think I liked more?
Queen Elizabeth II is seen more as a figurehead and fuddy duddy that refuses to die and kill her son Prince Charles so Prince William can assume his rightful place as king. However she was not always seen as an old person, but rather an example of the hope of a country devastated by war. An intrepid young woman who assumed the crowned position when she was about Prince William’s age, she helped England through some of the worst times in their history and gave advice to some of the most influential Prime Ministers. However all of that was thrown out the window when Princess Diana came on the scene. She married Prince Charles and was inserted into her life even when she divorced him and began to have copious affairs with other royalty around the world. She railed against the “establishment royalty” in various interviews calling out their outdated pomp and circumstance. However she was also relatable to the masses of regular girls and women in England, she did extensive charity work and she was gorgeous. She also died in the worst way possible at least for a celebrity.
These paradoxes made her a difficult figure in the royal family. When she died, it was hard for anybody to mourn her there because it was sort of weight off of their shoulders. But at the same time there was young boys to think of and an eager loving public. So the Queen took her grandchildren to the country and shunned all media while Tony Blair, the newly elected Prime Minister, grandstand with pompous speeches and gestures towards her death. This riled up resentment towards the Queen and put him as a saint. What was the Queen to do… She is to compromise in order to satisfy a fickle public.
Just like The King’s Speech, I heave a big who cares at the events of this film. Although the death of Princess Di was a significant event of the nineties, it has been hashed out again and again to the point of annoyance. This film may have been seen from a different perspective, but it is not a perspective I really cared to see. Maybe if the film would have taken to task these people in power including Tony Blair (a practical saint on the same level as Princess Di according to this film) I would have liked it better. This film gave me no insight into why Tony Blair ruined England’s economy, sympathized with Bush or anything else he did in his tenure. If this sketch was right, he should have been as great as Winston Churchill. We all know he wasn’t. I also don’t know more than surface details about Queen Elizabeth II. I know she is stoic and full of tradition, but why is she like that? Why is Prince Charles such a wet noodle? There are no answers here. Only good performances with sub par material. I am over this film.