In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark, but her life with the erratic monarch in the oppressive country becomes an isolating misery. However, Christian soon gains a fast companion with the German Dr. Johann Struensee, a quietly idealistic man of the Enlightenment. As the only one who can influence the King, Struensee is able to begin sweeping enlightened reforms of Denmark through Christian even as Caroline falls for the doctor. However, their secret affair proves a tragic mistake that their conservative enemies use to their advantage in a conflict that threatens to claim more than just the lovers as their victims. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The film was made and released about twelve years after its source novel "Prinsesse af blodet" by Bodil Steensen-Leth had been first published in the year 2000. See more »
While all of the characters all speak Danish in the film, the court language in Denmark at the time was actually German. In real life neither Count von Bernstorff nor Johann Struensee spoke any Danish, and it is more than likely that Christian and Caroline also conversed in German rather than the "people's language." See more »
[writing a letter]
I'm trying to remember him. Johann. I have to tell you about him. About us. Why we did the things we did.
My beloved children, you do not know me, but I am your mother. Perhaps you have never forgiven me. Perhaps you hate me. I hope not. I now know that I will never see you again, so I am writing to tell you the truth, before it's too late.
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On the surface, this movie is exactly what the title says, you have an unhappily married queen who has an affair under the king's nose with someone in the King's court. However, the interesting aspect of this story is the context. It is the second half of the 18th century, liberal ideals of people like Rousseau and Voltaire spread across Europe, and threatens to break down the old Feudalistic regime.
The movie is not a documentary on the ruling of Christian the VII, and should not be regarded as such. After seeing it, I went to read about Christian the VII, and found that many details of the era and his regime were omitted in favor of not making a long tiresome movie. Instead the movie focuses on the relationships between the king, the queen and the physician and to their attempt to change the face of Denmark.
These three characters are played beautifully.
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as King Christian is just superb and fun to watch, as a mad king he is always there even when not the focus of the camera.
Mads Mikkelsen as the physician acts for the most part as a calm yet stern person, however, when he does display emotions it has greater impact, and in my view portraits inner-struggle more effectively.
Alicia Vikander as the queen plays her two role quite well, whether it is the passion and stress that go with having a secret affair, or the audacity and charm that goes with fulfilling her royal duties.
Finally, in my view, the movie is another bell ring to remind us that even Denmark, 300 years ago was a country consumed by religion and fear, and that there are always those who believe in such a way of life.
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