Monday, May 18, 2009

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Based on the novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory, this is a cross historical-fiction story which tells of the shaken grounds of the Catholic Church and the love triangle between two sisters for the ruler of the kingdom.
This movie has received multiple praises and criticisms alike; drawing upon the main cast who were all non-British to play such prominent historical British figures.

I personally find the casting excellent; with Natalie Portman playing the scheming Boleyn sister while Scarlett Johansson is the fairer one.
However, it was the fairer sister who first won the heart of King Henry VIII; despite the family's efforts to promote Anne (Natalie) to the King following the Queen (Catherine of Aragon)'s failure in producing a male heir to the throne.

Duke of Norfolk, together with his brother, Thomas Boleyn then see this as an opportunity to strengthen their influence in the court and decided to use her daughter; Anne to seduce the King and to be the King's mistress and thereby bearing him a son to gain his Majesty's favour in their family.
Thomas's wife, and the Duke's sister were disgusted and refused to take part in the scheme.

The beginning of the movie showed how close both Anne and Mary were (Natalie and Scarlett respectively) and how excited Mary is in getting married to her husband, William Carey.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
As William is soon sent away on an assignment and the King visiting, the Boleyns were thrilled to welcome his royal Majesty and to kick their plan into action.
Much to their excitement, the King expressed interest in the married Mary instead of Anne and he took her into his palace where she became the King's mistress, much to the father's delight and Anne's fury.
Anne was then treated as an outcast and in one of her rebellious acts, she decided to elope with Henry Percy, who was supposed to be betrothed to be married to someone else. Confiding in her brother George about it was a mistake as George informed Mary and the marriage was annulled while Anne, was sent to France in exile for the disgrace she brought unto the family.

Anne was really angry with Mary and consider her act as that of a betrayal and vows revenge unto her sister.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Anne was called to return to the court by her father who needed her to keep the King's attention on Mary who was bed-ridden due to a near miscarriage and to ward the King's attention off another rival in Jane Seymour.
Anne seized the opportunity to seduce the King and Mary was sent home after giving birth to her son.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Anne then pressed the King to marry her; and this caused conflict between the King with the Catholic Church when the church refused to annul his marriage to Queen Catherine on the grounds that the Queen has not done anything wrong.
The trial then took to a higher level when the secret marriage of Anne and Henry Percy was brought up and Mary came back to testify; telling a lie to the court that the marriage was never consummated.

The King was furious with the Church and declared himself as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England which signified a crack in the Catholic Church when they split into two churches.
Anne had succeeded in her schemes but at the same time, the King was furious with her for causing so much harm to the kingdom and himself, and at the edge of his breaking point, he rapes her.

The King was disappointed when Anne gave birth to a daughter; and when Anne suffers a miscarriage during her second pregnancy which was actually a boy, she turns to George in desperation to impregnate her.
Of course,they didn't do it as George and Mary took turns to calm Anne down but their conversation was overheard by Jane, George's neglected wife who testified against them in court and this led to the execution of George and Anne who were both found guilty of incest.

Mary, now married to William Stafford, a soldier, runs back to the court to plead mercy for her sister after the beheading of her brother George.
King Henry VIII was happy and yet sad to see her and told her that he would not do anything to harm her.
However, when Mary receives a letter from the King and hearing Anne makes her last statement, she watched in horror as her sister is beheaded.

It was a tragic end for the Boleyns; and Elizabeth Boleyn; mother of Mary,Anne and George denounced both her brother and husband for what they had done to her children.

It was a truly great epic and I found myself enjoying the thrilling drama of how the dangerous schemes of a family to gain position in the court turned out to be such a tragedy.

Natalie Portman played the cunning Anne to perfection and Scarlett was great as the fairer and softer Mary Boleyn.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

The male heir that King Henry VII so much wanted was never there, but there was the birth of one brave and beautiful daughter by the name of Elizabeth who was much more than he could ever ask for; as indicated at the end of the movie.

Thumbs-up for this movie, and part of its historical trail also led to the huge success and popularity of the movie in the box office.

It is really interesting to see how a kingdom is torn apart by a woman.
Sadly, it was also the historical turning point of how the Catholic Church was defied and how we ended up in so many different churches today.

A brilliant film and I definitely recommend it; a movie that I'd definitely want to watch more than once!

Bride Wars (2009)

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have been best friends since they were little girls.
They have been connected to each other through the idea of a perfect wedding ever since they both attended a tea party with both of their mothers at the Plaza Hotel sometime in June where they witnessed a beautiful wedding taking place and they had wished that they will someday experience that lovely moment with the man of their dreams and it must be in June and in that magical Plaza Hotel which they loved so much and dreamed of it as their perfect wedding venue.
With the shared notion and dreams of their wedding, they have been planning their wedding all their lives, to make it the perfect one and the two girls are inseparable and they share every single secret and details in their lives.

Now in their mid-twenties, they have both found the man in their lives and surprise sprung unto them when they boyfriends proposed to them at about the same time.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Actually, Liv found a Tiffany box hidden in her closet when she was clearing her closet with Emma and she was expecting her boyfriend, Nate to propose.
However, before Nate could propose (he was waiting for the right time), Emma's boyfriend Fletcher proposed first and Emma was on her way to planning her wedding at Plaza Hotel.
Desperate and rushing against time, Liv got agitated with the delay Nate is putting on his proposal and ran to his office to propose to him, instead.
Nate laughed it off and told her that if she had waited for that night, he was definitely proposing.

Now both best friends are engaged and they sought the advice and service of New York's most popular wedding planner and booked their dates; respectively on the 6th and 27th of June and made each other the maid of honors.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
They were thrilled and started going shopping for wedding gowns when the wedding planner called to inform them that there has been a mistake and that their weddings have been scheduled on the same date; by her secretary whom she sacked immediately.

Both best friends were annoyed and tried to persuade the other lady who was mistakenly booked on one of the dates to give up her wedding date to Emma/Liv and it didn't work.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Both girls then told each other that "one of them" would have to shift the date or the venue and until they have decided, they will put all their wedding plans on hold.
So it was, but deep down inside, both girls have confided in their fiances that they expect their best friend to back down; because they know them well enough.
The fiances both suggested that they can consider the idea of a double wedding but both girls refused to comprehend the idea.
When Emma found out from Fletcher that Liv has gotten her "Save-dates cards", she immediately thought that Liv had betrayed her and gone back on her word.
Furious, she decided that two can play the game and she whipped out her white laptop (which was pretty classy by the way) and sent out an email to all her girlfriends; carefully omitting Liv to inform them of her set wedding date; on June 6th at Plaza Hotel.

Liv was equally furious at Emma when they met at the girls' gathering and both declared war at that point; following which they started to launch secret attacks behind each other's back to spoil the wedding for the other

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Emma had to seek the help of her colleague whom she hates to be her maid of honor while Liv had to ask her male colleague to do it. Emma was then brainwashed by her mean colleague to start sending cookies, chocolates and all those sweet treats to Liv; as courtesy of her fiance to make Liv put on weight so that she couldn't fit into her Vera Wang dress.
Liv struck back by sneaking into Emma's tanning session and caused her to end up with a orange tan a week to the wedding. Emma lashed back and caused Liv's bleaching session to turn her hair into blue.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Emma even went to Liv's bacholerette party to outshine her.

Deep down inside though, both girls are already starting to miss each other and started feeling guilty about being mean to each other.
They even wanted to get back to each other.

On the wedding day itself, both were getting ready and were secretly wishing the best for each other.
They met at the hallway; and they both smiled and waved right before the ceremony.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Emma was being led down the aisle by her father to the beautiful tune of the wedding march when all of a sudden, when she was midway on the aisle, the song turned into a video which showed a woman dancing the same way as Emma on the night of the bachelorette party and Fletcher was annoyed.
Emma, screamed and stormed into the other hall where Liv was getting ready for her walking down the aisle as well, when Emma jumped on her and the two had a catfight.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Liv's brother told the others not to tear them apart and let them have it.

The girls calmed down and they apologized to each other, while Emma decided that Fletcher was too controlling and skeptical of whatever she did and they broke off at Liv's wedding.
The best friends reconciled with Emma resuming her role as the maid of honor and walked her down the aisle.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

One year later, both girls were pregnant (Emma married Liv's brother - I've always thought that he was much better suited for her right from the start of the movie!)
and guess what, they are both due on the same date again!

I really loved this movie to bits; and I have wanted to watch it the moment I saw the trailer and the much advertised posters and storyline.
Ironically, I didn't get to watch until 2-3 months later and I loved it so much.

It made me think of my best friend and how girl best friends are just the best
It was touching and heart-warming; I was moved to tears towards the ending.
I can't decide whether it was tears of joy or sadness, but I guess, I just felt that at one part, I was just connecting it to real life and since I really missed my best friend as well, it just flooded my eyes.

Watch it for the following reasons:
1. If you are girl
2. You have a girl best friend whom you trust a lot and shares all sort of stories
3. You are a boy and you would love to see how girls bitch about each other when they are mad

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
For whatever reasons, just watch it....
Better still, watch it with your best friend
Cry along with her, and who knows you may both end up hugging and sharing even more stories with each other...a good chatting session!
Frankly, I don't even want to imagine being in a fight with my bestie; it's like fighting yourself since we've both known each other so well! YUCKS!
*pushing thought out of mind*

I LOVE this movie....

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
(I love it!)