Monday, November 2, 2009

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl is a fascinating movie that displays intrigue, sensuality, and romance. This movie is set during one of the most significant time periods in history. This movie begins with Catherine of Aragon who fails to produce an heir for the throne of England. The Duke of Norfolk and his brother-in-law, Thomas Boleyn scheme to bring Anne to the court of Henry VIII as the king’s mistress and possible mother of the heir, in order to pursue her own political goals. But this plan goes wrong when Henry is injured in a hunting accident and Mary; Anne’s sister takes care of her. Mary accepts a position into the court, knowing what will be expected of her, but eventually she falls in love with Henry. Meanwhile, Anne secretly marries Henry Percy, a nobleman, and her sister finds out. She is worried that Anne has ruined her reputation by marrying noblemen without the king’s permission. Mary tells her uncle and father that Anne got married, and they are angry and ashamed of her and exile her to France.
Mary becomes pregnant, and the Boleyn family is ecstatic. But she almost gets a miscarriage and she is told to stay in bed for the remainder of her pregnancy. Anne is then recalled to England to ensure that Henry does not fall in love with another woman, particularly Jane Seymour. Anne then tries to seduce Henry, showing him that she is smarter and more confident than she was. Henry eventually falls in love with Anne, and promises not to speak to Mary, in the hopes that Anne will become his wife. After Mary gives birth, Anne follows through with her promise, and Mary is very upset. But there is a problem. When Henry tries to break his marriage with Mary, the Pope refuses. Anne encourages Henry to break free from the Roman Catholic Church, and Henry does this, and divorces Mary. But the scandal of Anne’s marriage to Henry Percy still remains and threatens her relationship with Henry, until Mary returns to court and lies for Anne, telling Henry that Anne was never married to Percy. Anne then weds Henry and becomes the queen of England. The sisters eventually make up and Mary stays by Anne at court.
Mary has a healthy daughter, but Henry is still unhappy because Anne has not yet delivered a son who will become the heir to the throne. She is desperate and she tries to convince her brother George to have a child with her. He refuses her request, but his wife Jane overhears them discussing this, and becomes suspicious. Her testimony leads to the arrest, trial and execution of George and Anne. Mary comes to court hoping to save her sister, but Henry will not change his mind. He tells Mary to never come to the court again, because the disgrace of her family will result in danger. Mary agrees and never returns.
At the end of the movie, it is revealed that the king did not need to produce a male heir, because his daughter Elizabeth rules the country well for forty-five years.
This movie was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this movie to people, because it was fascinating to learn about the relations and motives of people from back then. It was also interesting to see how much scandal and gossip was involved in communities like this. For women, marrying and having children was a very big deal, and I did not know that such a role in society could lead to a scandal like that portrayed in The Other Boleyn Girl. Henry is portrayed as a bad person in this movie for divorcing and being untrue to his first wife Mary, and for letting Anne be executed for a crime she did not even commit. The women in this movie are displayed as promiscuous and surrounded by drama and gossip.

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