- Review Rating
Director: Nikolaj Arcel | Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Trine Dyrholm, Alicia Vikander | 133mins | Historical Drama
The Danes are best known for their gritty contemporary urban thrillers and dogma realism so this sumptuous romantic drama gives a refreshing insight into a little known episode in the their cultural heritage. Starring Danish man of the moment Mads Mikkelsen it delivers just the right amount of bodice ripping and sexual frisson to keep it intelligent and upmarket.
Gorgeous to look at, impeccably casted and well-served by the director/writer duo who adapted the original “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” it opens with the marriage of bright teenage princess Caroline, a playful Alicia Vikander, to the insane and sexually incompetent King Christian VII (Mikke Boe Folsgaard) who won a Silver Bear for Best Actor at Berlin 2012 for his performance. Mads comes to her rescue as the free-thinking intellectual Johann Friedrich Struensee when he is appointed the King’s private physician. Gradually the pair embark on an illicit love-fest of the mind and body as they take over the reins and lead Denmark into an enlightened renaissance of political and social reform at the end of the eighteenth century.
There’s plenty of historical relevance to keep the highbrows happy and Struensee’s skill in fast-tracking himself into political power and the Queen’s bed make him the perfect maverick for the romantically inclined. This deliciously potent cocktail has just the right blend of social comment, sexual scandal and political intrigue to keep us entertained for two hours until the final denouement, exquisitely delivered by the hero of the piece. Meredith Taylor ©
NOW ON BLURAY/DVD