Pretentious Tug Of War
Rourke’s period drama has both, the essence of that era and plethora of drama to fuel the film, what it lacks vigorously is the attitude to own that throne. There is no romance between the audience and the characters; none at all, and hence this repulsive script sets the doom for itself. The storyline is without a doubt, cinematic, dramatic, unlike your usual period drama, it is a script that feeds itself off on the antics. And the filmmakers were aware of them, hence they have directed all their guns on either building up to that peak moment or fill in the blank that would spice up that moment. In order to do so, presumably they have completely lopped off the flamboyancy in narration, there is no flow, it either leaps or skips. The film is incredibly rich in costume, make-up, production design with huge set pieces and jaw dropping location that is clearly appealing.
As mentioned before, the film lacks the poised tone of these characters and storyline, there is not enough ego to boast off in front of anyone or boost off the storytelling furthermore. Set in two different stages, personally I feel there is a lot to peel off in Robbie’s section. Her character might be fighting against the entire country or world or her own people, but her greatest fear is herself and that resistance that plays a vital role in this film is the best asset of it.
Unlike Robbie, Ronan gets a character that is completely satisfied with herself and has to fight against the others, but mind you, her track is much more gripping, much more juicy and glorifying. I can see why this has been Ronan’s anticipated project for a while, since has got quite a wide range in her character to step in. And respecting the material, the stage, the history and the Queen herself, she is giving her best in each scene.
Among two phases of hers, one of the strongest is in early stages, when she is taking things and people around her lightly and shows every sign of bratty-ness there is. The second half takes over the characters and has too much to say and do to let the actors overpower the storyline. The only time when Ronan and Robbie shares the screen- to which the entire movie is building towards- is well shot, performed and written.
The amount of pressure it has to qualify with good grade on that scene, is well managed on both paper and screen. The other supporting cast doesn’t get much to do except for Pearce who has done a decent work. Rourke’s world isn’t subjective enough to make its audience care for them, it is well aware of its pathos dark world to be appealing, but the content is read off like mere poignant news. Mary Queen Of Scots has everything we have seen in such genre, and its only unique quality which is to create the crisp tense environment between two personalities, is left untouched.