Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
The Film: I had heard some of the buzz surrounding A Royal Affair, and even more so when it got an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It certainly had my curiosity and I was keen to check out Mads Mikkelsen in something a bit different. I did not expect this film to be just one of the most visually stunning I had seen for some time, on that level this was just amazing.
The story is that of a Queen, who does not get along with her ‘crazy’ husband the King. The King befriends a Doctor, who then befriends the Queen and the pair embark on an affair while feeding the The King their ideas on The Enlightenment.
This is a period piece costume drama, it is on level that we rarely get to see. There is so much attention to detail, the costumes are divine and I found myself staring at their beauty. The art direction and set design are also stunning, and it definitely felt very authentic to the time, and 1700’s Denmark really came alive.
With that said, the performances also make this film worth watching. Mads Mikkelsen continues to be impressive and he brought so much to the character of Johann Struensee, he came to life. He was definitely the most interesting character in the film, his development was really well handled in its subtleness. Also rather good was Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as The King, he was eccentric and in some strange way a very engaging character. The one I wasn’t a huge fan of was Alicia Vikander as The Queen, the character didn’t come alive as I expected and it didn’t feel like a very passionate performance, which her co-stars had in spades.
This is a nicely crafted film, I enjoyed it for the most part. It lost me a bit with the off pacing that some scenes took and it was perhaps a little long when it didn’t need to be. I do think it is a film worth watching, especially with how utterly gorgeous it looks.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen 1080p HD. Audio is presented with DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 Danish, with English subtitles.
This is a simply stunning blu-ray, the picture quality is as good as you can ask for. It is wonderfully crisp and very clear, the imagery in the film was meant for HD and it honestly is breathtaking. You can see every detail on the sets and costumes and the scenery is divine, extremely happy with that. The audio is top notch as well, it is really clear and very precise. I was extremely happy with that package.
* Interviews with director Nicolaj Arcel and stars Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander
* Picture gallery with character biographies
* Family tree, illustrating the links between the Danish and British royal families
* Theatrical trailer
The interviews are really good and they are a nice addition here. The character biographies are a really nice touch, and the blu-ray fold out with the family tree is a clever inclusion.
A making of feature would have been great here, but sadly nothing of the sort here.
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.