The Joys Of Being Part Of A Clever And Courteous Relationship
What makes the 2009 film “The Young Victoria” so uncommonly good when compared to other romances or other historical British monarchy films?
“The Young Victoria” a couple of times already. It is so good that I will have to watch it more times before I better understand all I admire in it. I am a discriminating critic when it comes to films or plays. I have no trouble getting up and walking out (discretely) 1/3 or 1/2 way into the first time I’m watching a film or play when I realize the writer and creators are not heading in new or worthwhile directions. There are just too many other great artworks, like “The Young Victoria” that deserve my time, focus, and further investigation.
A problem with many romance stories is the audience is not given enough information to understand why the characters are attracted to each other. In many, if not most romances, certain devices are used to cue the audience as to which two characters should fall in love with each other: romantic music begins to play, lighting improves, the camera closes in, etc. This is true in even “great” romantic films like “Casablanca” – a film where we’re supposed to assume Rick and Ilsa would have been great together, but we never really see their romantic chemistry (beyond whirlwind romantic scenes). And we never see why, in day-to-day life, their personalities may have been so well foiled to one another. A rare quality in “The Young Victoria,” is we see and understand why the two historical characters may have been attracted to each other and why their personalities and traits may have complimented the others’.
And while the film has political intrigue like most historical British monarchy films, the film focuses more on the romance with the marriage of the Queen and King at the center of the political storms. In other comparative films, like 1998′s “Elizabeth” or 1971′s BBC mini-series “Elizabeth R”, we understand Elizabeth I remained a virgin queen to maintain a strong monarchy, But in neither film did I feel loss or sorrow when Elizabeth declined or lost her potential relationships.
Because Victoria was Queen, and head of state, Alfred could not ask for her hand in marriage. In the film, while they are courting, Alfred says to Victoria, “I would so like to be useful to you . . . if there is ever an opportunity.”
Victoria replies, “I know you would.”
The words and the scene are poignant and kindly understated. The screenplay is a great example of a momentum-producing script, making old history new and interesting.
Often at the center of great stories, both in reality and in fiction, there are two clever people, who choose to work together to make their community better through their actions, their example, and their presence. “The Young Victoria” provides a lovely example of such a couple. In real life, if you can ever find such a clever and caring partner, it can be an amazing blessing for you and everyone else around you – a worthwhile pursuit.
Some people think significant others are not very rare or special, thinking one person can reasonably be replaced by another – there’s plenty of good fish in the sea – thinking “if I can’t make it work with this person, there will always be another.” They may be right. I don’t know. But I tend to think the conflicts or traits that lead us to lose one relationship often end up being the same conflicts or traits that lead us to lose the next relationship. Resolving conflicts in an existing relationship may be a means to prevent us from having the same conflicts in the next relationship. Just a theory.
Thank you to regular readers for your kind feedback. This has been a pleasant road to travel with you for the last several years.