Elizabeth The Golden Age -

Elizabeth The Golden Age

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English Assignment Question

Choose between an evaluate argument essay or an ethical argument essay?

Education-Teaching Assignment Solution

A historical movie is successful if it can interest the viewer. Historical movies hold viewers interest with: a good plot, good characterisation and cast, authentic sets and costumes. Imaginative variation is allowed, but the movie needs to be present a true portrait of the period. A historical movie also needs to address current issues and conditions in society. Historical films often give new insights into present life and society, and a sense of perspective that history has a way of repeating itself and the more things change, the more they remain the same. This paper attempts for an evaluative assessment of the movie Elizabeth -The Golden Age starring Cate Blanchette (Oct.2007) for determining the qualities of a good period movie. 

The movie is set in the period 1585 to 1588 and revolves around the events that occurred during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was a time of palace intrigues and power play and religious turmoil. The principal considerations for a period movie include strict adherence to facts, chronology and proper delineation of all the characters involved in the events depicted in the film. In Elizabeth-The Golden Age, there are many adaptations of true events to fit the storyline like Elizabeth’s age. The film shows Elizabeth as younger and of childbearing age to depict her passionate affair with Robert and her flirtations.  Anachronisms are serious offenders in a historical narrative as they can distort one’s perspective.

While critics have pointed out glaring anomalies in historical facts presented in this movie, the movie was a super hit worldwide. This movie appealed to audiences for the elaborate period settings, costumes, props and the places. Also, a historical film is deemed effective if it can present the audience with history, so the viewer leaves with the feeling of having learnt something from the past. Despite the glaring historical anomalies, the undercurrent of tension between religious fundamentalism and religious tolerance that unpins this movie was enlightening as the world is currently facing a similar situation of growing fundamentalism and religious intolerance.

The movie Elizabeth also symbolised another increasingly important debate all over the world today – the role of women and feminine interpretation of public events. Elizabeth, a female ruler in a male-dominated world, who did not have a spouse to rule with her, symbolised feminine thinking in public life and brought in values of tolerance and inclusion. Although these aspects are not highlights of the movie and appear more as a backdrop to Elizabeth’s personal life among her suitors, they were a very illuminating part of the movie. 

In conclusion, critics found that Elizabeth – the Golden Age did not fulfil criteria for a successful historical – there were too many distortions of historical facts to fulfil the storyline, and the grand settings sometimes overshadowed the human drama and distracted the viewer from the story. The movie was perceived as anti-Catholic, which may be a narrow interpretation of broader issues of religious tolerance and fundamentalism as the movie enabled viewers to put into perspective macro events that relate to present-day life. The movie espoused inclusive, progressive values and proved that women could be strong and dynamic rulers in their own right. The fact that Elizabeth could do this in a male-dominated world where all the social and religious odds were against her and won her place in history through strength and courage was a commendable achievement that the movie did a good job of bringing out. These could be the reasons for the worldwide success of the film, despite the poor reviews from critics, as the movie entertained, taught history and helped viewers understand the world a little better.

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