The Other Boleyan Girl – the Movie

A historical soap opera that plays on the court of King Henry VIII. The Boleyan family has three kids, two daughters, Mary and Anne, and a son. There is a mother and her brother, the scheming brother in law, and the father, who play their children like chess pieces in court intrigues to gain, as a family, the favor of  the king. In the process, they ruin themselves.

I do not know if this is a fictional story, or if it is based on actual history. Queen Elizabeth, a redheaded girl, is born to Anne as the legitimate heir to the kingdom, and Mary also gives the king a son, albeit out of wedlock and therefore making him a bastard son.

This movie puts a spotlight on the depravity of the English system of nobility and court life in general as it lived through the centuries. The system of inherited monarchy seems outrageous today and bewildering and frustrating then, but it was the system they had to live under. Backstabbing and intrigue were rampant. Men were manipulated by women, kings or not, and history changed, lives were made, and destroyed, all due to the horny whims of one man who just happened to be born to be king.

The costumes and the filming were splendid, as you’d expect from a soap opera, the acting was fine, but it was the story that kept me watching. I kept thinking how glad I was to be alive now in America, not then in England, as to be successful then you had to be scheming to get the kings favors, not matter how asinine the man was.

Watch the Boleyan family destroy itself trying to simply be successful.

Rating: **

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