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Movie Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

Last night, Jodi and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl. It was worth the watch if for no other reason than the interesting history lesson. We weren't aware of which English King it was being portrayed in the movie until about halfway through when someone called him Henry and it became clear that it was Henry VIII (Henry the Eighth). The one that was married so many times that history has written several silly songs about him. However, watching the movie is no laughing matter. Neither was reading about the rest of his life and family's lives on the internet afterwards.

I'll try not to spoil the movie just in case any of you out there will actually watch it. But, seeing how it is historically correct, some of you may already know what happens. I'll just talk about what isn't in the movie, for the most part. The actions of Henry VIII caused England to break away from the Roman Catholic Church. Later, he became a Protestant and created the Church of England. His successor, his son from his fourth wife, King Edward VI, took the throne and died shortly thereafter. This left the throne to his daughter from his first marriage, Mary Tudor. She became Queen Mary and brought the Church of England back to Catholicism. This brought many persecutions to the Protestant community and to emphasize her feelings about how much she detested Protestants, she ordered 300 of them to be burned at the stake. Thus she became known as "Bloody Mary."

Queen Mary died within a couple years and that left the throne to Queen Elizabeth I. It's terrible to read about all the many beheadings, stake burnings, and tortures that were so readily used in England. And this is just among the nobles! When the Queen isn't even safe from a public beheading, you know that none of the common people are. It's no wonder why the Pilgrims risked sickness, disease, and the challenges of an unpopulated land by piling on a boat and shoving off not long after all this.

For the movie review, I would give it one thumb up and one thumb down. The movie is full of terrible choices made by everyone. It's full of power-seeking, manipulating, lying, cheating, murderous characters. Sadly, it is historically accurate. Which is where the thumbs up comes from. I enjoy movies that teach history and incite interest in it by accurately representing it while telling a story. But, I'd rather watch a movie with a lot less adultery, a lot more action, and would it kill someone to get some comic relief around here?


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