Saturday, 26 September 2020
The Other Boleyn Girl
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 03 March 2008 13:41


ThumbnailThe Other Boleyn Girl serves as a prime example of the corruptive effect of power and the persuasive effect of ample cleavage upon said power. Namely the collective cleavage of Scarlett Johansen and Nathalie Portman vying for the attentions of that exquisite example of male monarchy Eric Bana as King Henry VIII. Sound like a dream cast of beautiful people? We should just call it England’s Next Top Model: 15th Century Edition.

Johansen and Portman play historic rivals Anne and Mary Boleyn, sisters who become pawns in a game of ambition. When it becomes apparent that the current queen Catherine cannot provide a male successor, rumors abound that Henry will take a mistress. Under the influence of his conniving brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Boleyn decides to place one of his daughters under the royal nose. Anne’s sharp intellect and ability to keep her head on straight (no pun intended) make her a suitable match for Henry. Daddy-dearest also figures that his daughters’ heaving bosom will land her directly in the King’s bedchamber, and land the Boleyn family a high position at Court.

He’s not so far off and the two hit it off famously until Henry sets eyes on Anne’s younger sister Mary. Golden haired Mary Boleyn hasn’t her sisters’ ambition, but her honesty and soft heart catch the eye of the King. That and, you guessed it, the white rise of flesh that covers her soft heart. Soon it is Mary who has the king’s attention and Anne is shipped off to lick her wounds in France. When she does return to England it is with a carefully tended resentment toward her sister and a new determination to win not only the King’s heart, but a place beside him on the throne as Queen.Thumbnail

This is a costume drama filled with plenty of eye-candy that extends beyond the gorgeous cast to opulent scenery and extravagant costumes. The girls are rarely seen in the same dress twice and each gown radiates like a gemstone in colors of emerald, sapphire and ruby. Stunning costume design! The men are just as carefully decked out and Eric Bana certainly has the stature and physique to look dashing in such finery. On some men these clothes may look overwhelming but he manages to appear regal and imposing.

You may be thinking that the story of The Other Boleyn Girl is a little familiar due to the immense popularity of last seasons hit TV series The Tudors. The brilliant series aired on CBC and also made history sexy, turning King Henry VIII into a slim and charismatic guy. It’s interesting to see the different treatments given by the actors to the same characters. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Henry on television with a sullen arrogance, whereas Bana exudes the confidence that only comes with power and title. Both are excellent in the role and I really recommend the both TV series and movie as complimentary viewing.

The Other Boleyn Girl is an entertaining watch, but not good enough to stand up against other period drama’s like Elizabeth. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it falls flat since the performances are good and the story is never dull. I just felt that it didn’t reel me in quite enough emotionally. The tragic ending is supposed to elicit some strong feelings, but although I had fun watching the film it didn’t leave me with a lasting impression.

All in all the rivalry and extravagance of 15th century England is certainly fun to delve into, even if it isn’t told with historic accuracy. But it leaves me with one lingering thought… What ever happened to corsets anyway? I want cleavage like that! I give The Other Boleyn Girl 7 out of 10.