joi, 20 aprilie 2017

The Girl King, written by Michel Mark Bouchard and directed by Mika Kaurismaki

The Girl King, written by Michel Mark Bouchard and directed by Mika Kaurismaki

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

There are at least two ways of looking at this drama.

First of all, I came to this film with a prejudice regarding Kristina the Queen.
I have read that she was in some part responsible for the death of Rene Descartes.

Yes, she was an admirer and her interest, especially given the age and her sex in that context, is to be highly appreciated.
But once she had invited the genius, brilliant philosopher, she lost her initial awe.

Perhaps I have the wrong information.
The Girl King certainly portrays the Queen/King in a flattering manner.

At least in my view and most of the time.

Rene Descartes could not stand the cold weather.
Besides, he was made to wake up at dawn, around five in the morning, an hour that did not agree with him at all.

And the cold, coupled with this exhausting program have killed him.
This is what I had known about The Girl King and it did not endear her to me.

The second, perhaps more appropriate way to see this woman would consider all her outstanding skills, qualities and acts.

She was brave, determined, intelligent, curious to learn and understand much more, hence the invitation made to Rene Descartes.
She became queen at the age of six.

Even if this sounds like such a blessing, it is not.
She is not allowed to do anything but what it is proper.

There is no childhood to talk of and abuse comes early on.

She has a sign on her back, visible in a scene of some humor but with more sad moments in it.
She has to be measured and her health is evaluated in front of a group of courtiers.

The sign on the back is attributed to the negligence of a servant.
It is revealed however that it was her own mother, with whom a conflict is growing.

She has to be involved in affairs of state and politics.
The talk with the French Ambassador involves the differences between them.

They are placed in two different religious camps.
Sweden is Protestant, while France is Catholic.
But the "real politik" even if not yet born as a concept at that stage is prevalent.

And the Girl King shows stamina, grit and overwhelming understanding
She says

-          We have common enemies and we can work together.

When she was born, they thought she was a boy...

She fooled us all, it was said

If we consider Proust's view, she may even have a strong masculine element.
Proust wrote in his chef d'oeuvre that there are men who only have the appearance of being male, when in fact they are female.

And the Girl King loves a woman.
Countess Ebba Sparre is the one that has the heart of the queen.

And not the son that Chancellor Axel Oxenstiema had in plan to marry the Girl King

In conclusion, I was not thrilled by this film.
The actress in the main role did not have the charisma, the magnetism that I love in my favorite actors.

If anything, I would rather have the actress portraying the Countess in the leading role.

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