Monday, October 06, 2008

The Tudors: Best without Jonathan's Henry

The Tudors second series came to its bloody end in a remarkably good and arty episode. A pair of nonchalant mute swans held Henry VIII in thrall while croaking ravens serenaded Anne Boleyn in the Tower, in a reversal of the usual white/black moral symbolism. Then I realised why it was so good. Henry, as incarnated by the ludicrously cast Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, hardly appeared as we lived through Anne’s delayed death moves. I recall another episode that was equally as good in this series: the one where Henry lay concussed on a tressle for most of the time following a jousting accident; therefore out of critical harm's way.

A Henry VIII-free third series can only be hoped for as women in fine costume suddenly disappear into an unseen royal hell-hole. Henry as a rumour strikes me as sensible. Rhys-Meyers can only strike two types of pose: come-to-bed and go-to-block. The actual Henry was an iridiscent demon full of tricks: Kenneth Branagh might have pulled it off (on stilts).

We discovered why Henry was in thrall to the swans. Swan pie anyone?


drf said...

Dear Madame Arcati

I should like you to know that someone took me to see Brideshead Revisited yesterday which, after the bad reviews, was an experience I was dreading. I thought it wonderful cinema. It's not literary but it is very true to the romantic and sensual spirit of the book. Sexy too, to my surprise - I think this was because all the actors made powerful physical bridges between the lush visuals and the superb, minimalist script. What's the matter with those critics? I'll tell you. They are over-exposed like sun-dried tomatoes. When I was asked to be film critic for The Spectator I accepted - but only for a year. More than a year at one of those posts and you inevitably join the ranks of the lobotomised.

With best wishes, Duncan Fallowell

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Duncan

I sooo agree with you. It's quite an excellent film, as I said in my own review, and an improvement on the TV series which John Mortimer did not script. If only it had a few explosions and some idiotic A-list American - Nic Cage as Charles? - then the nappies at Empire would love it. The older critics just fall asleep (if they turn up).

Please become a film critic again.