“The story of the Boleyn sisters is one riddled with betrayal, infidelity, lust and greed. It is the struggle between those sisters, the scandalous Ann Boleyn, emboldened and conniving and her sister Mary, pure innocence corrupted by the vigorous King Henry VIII that drives this story far from the realms of a PBS special.””
The story of the Boleyn sisters is one riddled with betrayal, infidelity, lust and greed.
It is the struggle between those sisters, the scandalous Ann Boleyn, emboldened and conniving and her sister Mary, pure innocence corrupted by the vigorous King Henry VIII that drives this story far from the realms of a PBS special.
Stir together these elements with one of the most talented casts assembled so far this year and you have a recipe for drama at its finest.
But alas, The Other Boleyn Girl wastes its resources for an abrupt and choppy Masterpiece Theater look at one of the most tumultuous eras in England’s history.
Mary Boleyn recently wed a Merchant’s son and has begun planning a life in the country with her new husband.
Ann, while flirtatious and beautiful, has yet to find such a match even though she is the older sister.
Their relationship is picture perfect; the epitome of how families are to love and watch over one another, but when King Henrys queen is unable to provide him an heir to the throne, the sisters quickly realize the one thing that may come between them is a kingdom.
Ann is given the duty of entertaining the King during his stay at the Boleyn’s Manor. But after a nasty hunting accident caused by Ann herself, Mary must nurse the King back to health.
Henry quickly falls for the younger sister, ignoring the fact of her wedded bliss. Henry sends for the entire family, including Mary and her husband William, to Court, where both Boleyn sisters will serve as maidens to the queen.
Mary is to provide nights of favor to the King in hopes that she may bear him a son.
But, the jealousy of Ann is not to be tested.
For when Mary becomes pregnant and the King’s interests begin to wane, Ann steps in to fulfill her task of wooing Henry. Sounds like a medieval episode of Young and the Restless.
And truth be told, the film is right about on par in trashiness and poor direction.
The film cannot quite decide how much of the story to tell.
Sadly, the scenes that it chose are so sporadic and choppy that the viewer quickly loses interest in the story’s narrative.
For the first 45 minutes, the audience is asked to endure clip after clip after clip in desperate attempt to develop some form of a sympathetic character.
Had the film been a bit more congruent, I might have connected with one of the beautiful Boleyn sisters.
If you are lucky enough to survive into the film’s second act, the story of betrayal begins. Potentially, the film could take off from here, saturating the screen with forbidden love and heated cat fights between rival sisters.
Instead, it opts for heavy-laden reprimands and whining from two women who are forced to deliver cliches far below their caliber of acting.
Overall, the film stuck with me long after the credits began to roll. However it wasn’t the beauty of the epic locations or hauntingly gorgeous set pieces that stayed clear in my mind.
The high-caliber performance of the supporting cast including Kristin Scott Thomas didn’t even ease my thoughts. I simply dwelled upon how the film could have been better. This bloated biopic was a royal bore, decapitations and all.