Mary Queen of Scots – 5.0
In a word: Contrived
I do love movies based on historical events and personalities, knowing full well that Hollywood often takes license to skew facts or stretch truths to add effect. But as long as it’s not so obvious and it fits within the parameters of the storyline, we’re okay. This version of the story leaves one shaking a head in disbelief in a number of scenes.
In a battle scene outside a wooded area, Queen Mary sits on a horse overlooking a couple platoons of men going to war, using pistols and long barrel rifles. The movie is set in the latter 16th century. Such weaponry was not invented yet. (groan)
The movie depicts a face to face confrontation with England’s Queen Elizabeth. According to all the historical accounts, that never happened.
The setting is mid and late 1500s. Queen Mary has four chambermaids. Two are black. These were not slaves locked into servitude, the characters were held in high esteem. Sorry, from what I gathered in a bit of research, Scotland was 99-plus percent white in the 1500s, the likelihood that blacks were engaged as chambermaids is close to zero.
Another effort by the writers/director engaging in 21st century political correctness, was adding two or three black males as actors in the queen’s service in the 16th century…another highly unlikely happening in lily-white Scotland. Wait there’s more. One of those blacks turns out to be gay and openly accepted by the people. Let’s carry it even further, in one scene that black gay man is caught in a sexual dalliance with a white guy, who happens to be the queen’s husband and father of her child. (moan, groan) Bear in mind, Scotland was strongly divided as Catholic and Protestant in those days and such activity was strongly condemned if not only on religious grounds.
I’m all for minorities of all races and creeds acting in the movies. There are enormously talented blacks, some of whom are winning Oscars, deservingly so. But the constant drumbeat of political correctness in places where it is clearly out of context, yet probability, ruins the entire movie.
To be fair, the sets and scenery were good. Saoirse Ronan was excellent in role as Queen Mary. Authenticity aside, the movie was fair, though it slowed to a crawl in places. I would have addressed more about the storyline, but it got lost in all the political correctness.
I did enjoy learning the true story of Mary Queen of Scots, even if I had to look it up myself.
I give this film 5 out of 10.