Quick Review: The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria chronicles the early years of Queen Victoria’s monarchy, particularly her relationship with and marriage to Prince Albert. Some quick thoughts on the movie:

1. The scenes are lush, bright, and well-shot. Victorian era England looks sharp.

2. The world of the royals is an odd one. Victoria and Albert are subject of the scheming of their parents when they are young and manipulative politicians when they are on the throne. One aide remarks about the fickle nature of the public as they swing from love for the monarchy to hatred. I wonder if any semblance of a “normal life” is possible in such a setting.

3. The main theme of the movie is the love that develops between Victoria and Albert. As she becomes Queen at a young age (18 years old), she finds that she needs support and wise counsel. Albert helps provide this and coming from a royal background himself, is able to understand her.

3a. I wonder what the position of Albert must have been like. On one hand, he was a very powerful man as he was married to the Queen. On the other hand, he was clearly second in power, even in his own household, since he was married to the Queen. The movie suggested he was very understanding about all this but also illustrates some tension when he feels he has little to do.

4. This is an important era in British history – but most of the outside world is ignored in favor of the story line between Victoria and Albert. (See the lengthy Wikipedia entry on Victoria here.)

5. After watching the movie, I learned that Queen Victoria later became known as the “Widow of Windsor” after Albert died at age 42. Yet the movie portrays a vibrant Queen Victoria who was stubborn and instinctive. Perhaps part of the goal of the film was to show this early part of Victoria’s life.

Overall: an engaging film portraying a devoted relationship between Victoria and Albert. However, something seems lacking – perhaps an issue of great significance that would help give the plot line more heft.

(The reception from critics: on RottenTomatoes, 134 reviews with 107 fresh/76%.)