An email written on June 11, 2007:
I’ve just finished watching "The Queen" and I think it’s very entertaining, more than I thought anyway. Have you seen it ? I’d recommend if you haven’t.
Not believeing in neutrality in any kind of descriptive works, I think this film is quite sympathetic with the Queen and Tony Blair but it probably sharpens the images of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother (then) in their dislikes for Princess Diana. And Prince Charles is depicted as a dodgy person who tries too hard to manipulate the situation to gain popularity and sympathy from the British people so that her mother (the Queen) would be the one to blame, not him.
But the most ridiculous person in this movie is probably Mrs. Blair. Her curt(e)sy can’t be made more ridiculous than what has been shown in this film. Any lady tennis players, eg. Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, or even to the likes of Martina Hingis or Venus/Serena Williams who I’ve seen make the curtsy in front of the Queen in Wimbledon can qualify as a coach for Mrs. Blair in this film !!! It’s just so ridiculously funny. I didn’t know Mrs. Blair (what’s her name, Cherie ?) was so big in anti-monarchy before (probably because I had left Britain before Blair was elected).
I think Tony Blair has probably paid the biggest bribe to the film-makers and in this film he seems to be the most reasonable person who understands the delicate situation after Princess Di’s death. Though he puts pressure on the Queen to do what seems to be right at the end, he understands more than almost anyone what the Queen has been through. Unavoidably, by being sympathetic with the Queen, the film seems to imply that Princess Di inside the Royal family is a totally different person from what the outsiders (all of us) seem to know. It’s
almost like saying that Princess Di’s superior popularity was due to her ability and skill (including possibly manipulation) to do what the most popular actress can do (compared to a less popular one — like the Queen).
The film also depicts quite well the awkwardness of the modern monarchy. Even the most educated person such as the elected Prime Minister doesn’t quite know what is the right manner and formalities to behave in front of the Queen — the Queen after all so many years
is the only experienced one. Blair (in the film) is certainly the kind of person that the Queen would want to have in order to extend the lifetime of the monarchy. I also probably didn’t realize that Queen Elizabeth II had Churchill as her first Prime Minister ! I think she definitely needs to throw this bit of information out each time she meets with a new Prime Minister (so that the new PM won’t be so arrogant).
Just before watching "The Queen", I again came across the beginning half of "The Lake House" (minus the first 10-15 minutes) in HBO. I came across the later half in previous occassions. So, I decided to finish watching the beginning half that I had seen. It’s a romance story with an interesting time distortion, that the lead actress in 2006 somehow communicates in real time with the lead actor in 2004. The lake (house) makes the scene and the entire movie even more romantic. Keanu Reeve and Sandra Bullock are just the right couple. I just adore them in this film. I certainly appreciate this impossible communication fantasy which makes the movie more complicated and adds some ingredients to make the movie even more tasty !
This somehow coincides with my reading (very slowly compared with the book "the devil wears prada which I finished last weekend) "The Fabric of the Cosmos". I was just going thru’ the pages where the author is discussing about the puzzle of the arrow of time being one-directional.
2 films and a book for tonight and today are just a great combination. It certainly has made my day … especially a wonderful night full of some romantic and sensational feelings that I can indulge myself in …