Omits many formative or significant events. War well covered. Lots of film footage. DVD contents.
from Northumberland, England
, 09 Aug 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
Show review anywayHide
SUMMARY: Too short, superficial, and exaggerated sensitivity about which subjects are 'difficult' and thus to be avoided. The War years and following are well covered, but many formative and significant periods or events are largely or wholly omitted, unjustifiably so, for instance the pre-Bertie days, 1954-1994 and 1995-2000 e.g. no mention of Margaret's love life nor that of her grandchildren. A disappointing, patchy and superficial biography of this great lady. It shouldn't have been hard to produce a good biography/tribute as there are so many sources.
CHAPTERS: The Little Duchess, New Queen Consort, The Most Dangerous Woman In Europe [Hitler's description], Celebrations and Tears, The Queen Mum. Total 55 mins.
DETAILED REVIEW: This great lady's life is crammed into 55 minutes by skimming over many years and omitting many situations and events that surely were formative or significant for Elizabeth. The narration (no talking heads) is too superficial, written as if by an overly deferential courtier with an exaggerated sensitivity about which subjects are 'difficult' and thus to be avoided. For instance, Elizabeth's pre-Bertie life is skimmed over e.g. no mention of her academic achievements (she excelled at literature and Scripture), that four brothers served in the army during World War I and one was killed, nor that when Glamis Castle was turned into a soldiers convalescent home Elizabeth mainly ran it. That would take mere seconds to explain the kind of experience that shaped or revealed her character. What were Elizabeth's views, political influence, hobbies, favourite people, her main joys and sorrows? We're left to deduce some answers though they are often a matter of public record from friends and her letters. The stressful upheaval of the Abdication is skimmed over and her attitude to Wallis barely mentioned. The War years and following are well covered. Then the DVD jumps from her daughter's coronation in 1953 to the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995 with no footage of public appearances inbetween (in which she carried out public duties far beyond normal retirement age) and nothing about her grandchildren's marriages (successful or not), nothing about her great-grandchildren, nothing about her daughter Margaret's death. Yet those were all significant situations in this great lady's life, therefore relevant, as well as being of historical interest to the lady's fans and critics alike. These omissions produce an inaccurate record. Thus the DVD fails to engage us fully, and is redeemed, but only partly, by the wealth of archive footage (monochrome and colour). We must work a bit to gain from the footage, from the narration and from _our own memories_ an impression of Elizabeth's enjoyment of life, liking of people, and her great sense of duty and loyalty. The DVD could've added greatly to our knowledge of Elizabeth with, say, snippets about not that aren't commonly known e.g. that on her way into Westminster Abbey to be married she unexpectedly laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a gesture which every royal bride since has copied (on the way back from the altar rather than to it).
- Was this review helpful to you?
(0) Yes |