Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Setting of the Queen

In Stephen Fears' movie The Queen, Hellen Mirren portrays The Elizabeth II at the time of Princess Diana's death. The new Prime Minister Tony Blair  has to take his new responsibilities and direct the queen during the hard time for the Britain. The Queen does not want to make a public thing out of Diana's death, and that gets a lot of negative response from the people. The main idea that the movie explores how even the monarchs have to do not what they want, and how the traditions, etiquette, and manners shape their thinking about the world.

The setting of the movie helps to show the distinction between the monarchy and a common man. Queen has a number of palaces:  the Buckingham Palace, and the other huge mansion in Scotland where the main story is being developed. Both of these manors have hundreds of rooms, and each of those rooms is huge. We see Queen's room a couple of times in the palace with a nice king bed, about 10 pillows on it, and nice Victorian age bedding. The room is neat, though it reflects the older times (contributes to the idea of older Elizabeth's point of view toward modern things.) The fact that everything is so old there adds up to the fact that nothing is changing neither at the Buckingham, nor at that other palace. Neither does queen, and her perception of this world. She is always a formal monarch. We don't see her showing any deep emotional relationship with any of the main characters. Although she talks less formally with her husband and the mother, it is still not how we would talk to our relatives. We know the time depicted in the movie is hard for her,  but she is still always to the point, and nothing more. That vastness of the palace takes out the warmness and cosiness that once again point to the colder relationships in the families that used to be normal in older centuries.

The room where she meets with Tony Blair is huge. The walls are crowded with dozens of pictures, golden decorations, statues, couches, tables... When the prime minister Tony Blair enters the room for the first time, the look on his face shows that he has never seen such an extravagance. Later in the movie we see his home - not elaborate at all, his family, the relationships between the members. It's so different from what we see in the royal manor. Tony stands as a common man, represents the majority of the country and the modern way of living. His children have much more freedom than the two boys in the royal family. His wife is cooking the meal, not the 20 chefs that we see working in enormously huge queen's kitchen. As a result, this shows why the queen is one against all - she is different, her life is different, and shows the older regime, and older way of making decisions.  Tony Blair and the setting of the environment where he lives contributes to this distinction, and the explanation of why such difference exists.

Overall, the setting of the movie makes a good job conveying the queen's personality, reason, and the explanation of her actions. Also, it nicely juxtaposes the lives of those who are governed by her. Without a successful setting, the main conflict would lose a bunch of earned obstacles that are fundamental. Fears' Queen is unique, and does a wonderful job revealing the hard life of those who have responsibilities for their country just because they were born as the kings.

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