A Royal Affair
- Director:Nikolaj Arcel
- Cast:Mikkel Følsgaard, Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander
- Release Date:June 21, 2012
- Running time:138 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
A sumptuous and involving period piece, which is flawlessly acted, and builds an emotional connection slowly but surely.
Set in the 18th century Danish regal world during The Age Of Enlightenment, A Royal Affair is both political and personal. A handsome historical drama, it doesn't quite touch the heights of greatness, but the key characters - a mad king, a miserable queen, and a progressive doctor - and their complex inter-relationships are magnificently portrayed and involving.
King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) is an eccentric, childish and initially unlikeable character with a penchant for prostitutes, but he gains our empathy and interest as this true tale unfolds. He marries, sight unseen, Caroline (Alicia Vikander), a blue-blooded Brit. When they first meet, he hides behind a tree as his new wife emerges from her carriage. It's a curious - and memorable - scene.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel (co-writer of the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), with Lars Von Trier as executive producer, the first hour is slow but strong, doing the groundwork to establish the central characters. The second hour builds on this solid foundation, yet you're more intellectually than emotionally involved with these people and their quest to bring progressive ideals to Denmark. It may come late, but the emotional connection does happen, well in time for the dramatic climax. The affair referred to in the title between Caroline and the royal medico, Struensee (the brooding Mads Mikkelsen), is romantic and sensual -- and it's fascinating to watch their manoeuvres as they carry on the secret relationship, simultaneously working with Christian to free the masses from the dark ages. But it's tough being a king - especially when your stepmother is scheming against you. The acting is flawless, with Følsgaard's King Christian - who giggles like a kid - the stand-out. Intricately plotted and beautifully shot, A Royal Affair is also about the brave, uphill battle of challenging the status quo.