As the movie title states, it belongs to the historical/ drama film type and is based on the true story of king Henry VIII and his wife Ann Boleyn. It focuses on how she entered his life and the court palace and the illegal relationships that the era was full of.
The film opens on the scene of the three brothers kids (Ann, Mary and George) playing happily in their ranch. Her greedy father and uncle(duke of Norfolk) planned to control the king by offering their girls to him even if in illegitimate ways. The king takes the younger sister, though married, as a mistress and neglects his wife while the plan is to take the elder sister Ann. Then after years he goes back to Ann and sacrifices everything for her approval to be his woman legally. She plays games at all levels to get what she wants but all end up unexpectedly.
As the British history is known of being rich in events and details that make the perfect drama and melodrama pieces, the writer presented a very exciting plot, full of unexpected twists and tension that reaches its climax on the moment of beheading Ann Boleyn. It is written creatively by Philippa Gregory.
The characters were very convincing and each fitted in his role. Natalie Portman(Ann Boleyn) reflected the intolerant, difficult and malicious sister and woman in an excellent performance. Scarlet Johansson(Mary Boleyn) manifested deeply the kind-hearted, obeying and tolerant spirit even after losing everything. And finally Eric Bana(King Henry VIII) has an exceptional performance of the selfish, lusty, playful, irresponsible, ruthless and treacherous king. When he stops loving, he gets rid of his woman at any price.
Whereas you feel resentment towards all the illegitimate background of the story, and feel grudge but the events go to the melodramatic direction which leaves you empathetic yet satisfied in a way or another.
Dialogue is natural and logically developed. Scenes were well played by actors, and well shot by the operator. That perfect piece of filmmaking was done by Justin Chadwick and produced by BBC Films & Focus Features.
The Master Scene
In my opinion, that scene when the king was waiting for Mary to deliver the baby while talking to Anne asking for a hope to reach her but she refuses to be his mistress and asks him to cut any bond with her sister and the baby. He, when hearing the baby cry, was to go see him and Mary’s father and uncle congratulate him but in an instance Anne decides to tell him there is a hope to get her but on the condition of leaving Mary and her son. He surprisingly responds to her and bends on knees before her and looks away from Mary.
This scene was taken in rapid medium shots with camera close up on faces of the king and Anne. The conflicts between the powers of the story. Mary, her son, her father and her uncle as a part and Ann as another part.
On a scale from one to ten, I would give it 9 for professional plot and direction. Camera movements were perfect. Characters performance were very convincing and fascinating. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who likes the historical, drama and melodrama film types and to anyone interested in the British history, this movie is deemed a perfect piece.