Although flawed at times, GOLDEN AGE proved to be a worthy successor to the original. The film seemed a little spastic at times as if it didn’t know which direction it wanted to go. There are two congruent storylines in the film, one featuring the Queen and Sir Walter Raleigh and the other focusing on England’s relationship with Spain. The movie tends to struggle going between the two storylines and neither seems as explored as I would have liked.
As much as I like Clive Owen, his casting here was a little strange. He did a decent job, but his character didn’t seem to fit in with the storyline. There were a lot of mixed emotions and signals from the love triangle and at one point, I even thought Shekhar Kapur was hinting at a homosexual affair between Elizabeth and Beth. The relationship arcs were convoluted and even confusing at times. The war storyline was a little bit better, but without prior historical knowledge, I think some moviegoers will be lost. We needed more supporting logic for why Spain was determined to invade England rather than just passing it all off on religion.
There were a lot of undertones and deeper meaning in the film than what I was expecting. I think Kapur was trying to make too many political statements about sex, politics and religion and that may have affected his film too much. Although I enjoyed the film and absolutely loved Blanchett, I think it could have been more if Shekhar Kapur had taken more care with the story.
The Reign Continues (11:22): There’s a little too much Blanchett praising, but she’s such a great actress that it’s ok. They compared and contrasted this one to the first, which I enjoyed. They’re similar films, but there are some distinct differences in the tone. Overall, this was a decent featurette.
Inside Elizabeth’s World (7:25): This featurette was brought to you by Volkswagen, which completely pisses me off. There’s no reason to have a sponsor for a DVD featurette. As you may have guessed, this is a fluff piece with several movie scenes and some interviews with the cast and crew.
Commanding the Winds: Creating the Armada (12:04): It starts out with some neat artwork and then goes right into the process of making the ships. Of course, most of the ships are CGI, but they really made one ship even though it never touched water. This was moderately interesting, especially if you’re interested in how they make props.
Towers, Courts and Cathedrals (10:44): Obviously, this is a close look at the settings in the film and how they compared to the first film. There wasn’t anything too interesting and featured a lot of people gushing about how great the sets were.
Deleted Scenes (8:49): Of the 9 scenes, only two featured Blanchett. The most notable scene featured the severed head of Mary Queen of Scotts. I really anticipated seeing this in the film, but after watching the scene, I’m glad they cut it out. Other than that, none of the scenes made an impact.
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