Elizabeth: The Golden Age – 3*’s
Add one more to the list, as Elizabeth: The Golden Age continues this year’s trend of sequels in 2007. Highlighting the “golden” years of the reign of one of England’s most successful monarchs, this movie does a good job showing the basics of the time just before, during, and after the famous naval battle between the English and the Spanish Armada.
Starting off a couple of decades after the end of the first movie, Elizabeth, this movie focuses mainly on the assassination plots against the Queen of England from both Mary Queen of Scots, Philip II of Spain and their various minions. Cate Blanchett once more takes the throne as Elizabeth I, doing a great job making the queen feel like a real person with tangible and relatable emotions.
Paralleling itself to its predecessor, the movie also focuses on an alleged romantic attachment of the queen. This time, the romance is between Elizabeth and the handsomely devilish pirate Sir Walter Raleigh. Portrayed by Clive Owen, Raleigh is not quite the modern image we have of a pirate, (thank you, Captain Jack Sparrow) but more of a gentleman who occasionally robs a few Spaniards of their precious galleons. While heavily over-romanticized, and probably almost entirely historically incorrect, the love story between the queen and Raleigh makes for a decent addition to the movie. Also, the relationship the queen has with Raleigh helps represent the pressure Elizabeth goes through to marry, as long as her betrothed is of royal blood.
A major point of allure throughout the movie is the stunning visual work, captured with creative cinematography and really beautiful scenery. The costumes contribute in a big way to the visual aspect of the film, as the divine fabrics and colors just made the ladies’ wardrobe pop out like daisies in the springtime. While the clothes worn by Elizabeth and the other ladies were absolutely gorgeous, something could have been done about some of the wigs. A few were beautiful, but some were just plain hideous. If they went off of historical data in so many other, more important, areas of the film, something could have been done about the hair.
Those loyal to accurate facts will be completely bothered by the inaccuracies throughout the movie, (I’m pretty positive Raleigh was not the hero amongst the English in the battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588), but if you just sit back and enjoy the movie as just that, a movie, it is a fairly enjoyable experience.