The Madness Rules.
Lanthimos’s tug of war is the most simplistic and cinematic project of his that isn’t necessarily gloomy or sinister. Set as a period drama, the storyline takes off in a humorous tone that feels eerily intangible. But this is Lanthimos, this quirkiness has been his forte since The Lobster, and using it wisely to boost off for a head start, the film gains a ferocious pace as it ages on screen.
One of the oldest and repetitive tricks of the writers Davis and McNamara to lighten the mood is through using an uncouth language to voice their deepest feelings and since they live around the rich and clean Royal world, the irony tickles you down to rubble. But this incongruent vocab of theirs grows on you and the ratio of humor reduces as cutthroat politics gets in, along with jealousy, seduction and rage that follows the entire film into a darker tone; compared to The Lobster and The Killing Of The Sacred Deer, it still is the merrier one.
Since there is a lot to cover and equally sincerely and slowly to be projected, the sequences are often or not started as an aftermath that gives the makers quite a leap on the timeline to chew in the material as a slow and effective pill. This flamboyant vocab of the writers sails smoothly across the screen with comfort on narration that is gripping and absorbing as much as layered it is. And to succeed over this trifecta that every writer dreams of, Davis and McNamara has managed to weave out the best work of their career. Colman as the least concerned Queen of England has a behemoth of a character to climb upon.
And with her experience and deep dive into the character including the voice and the body language, she makes sure she earns the title with a big glossy tiara on her head. In her latter intense stage, the vulnerable yet not weak persona of hers is admirable but I’d prefer Colman in initial carefree stage where she is simply flat out hilarious. Stone in her surprisingly negative role is as good as she is on mocking the other characters unflinchingly. Playing the double agent on both the sides, she is the real schemer of the tale, her sassiness grows beyond her control and the film gets juicier and juicier in her reign.
But among all, personally I feel connected to Weisz’s underdog character that evolves into the soul of the film. Her character steals the show not for the poignancy or the “pity” aspect of hers, but her innocence of the affection that floats untouched and pure in this lethal sandwich of love and war. Lanthimos’s world does not believe on amending the broken bonds, resuming the clock from zero, it always seeks for a fresh start, a clean slate. The Favourite is a comic tale that takes itself seriously and works hard to be independent of any agendas or schemes which Lanthimos reveals upfront to you, honestly.