As I wrote in a past post, I do love a biopic! And this week I saw another one, The Young Victoria. In many ways it covers much the same ground as the 2001 miniseries, Victoria & Albert. Both show Victoria’s lonely childhood, the poor relationship between her mother and Victoria’s uncle the King, her mother’s poor choice of adviser, and the political manipulations from Europe to forge a match between her and Albert. However, while Victoria & Albert, being a miniseries and therefore longer, takes the story up to Albert’s death, The Young Victoria stops at the point where Victoria recognises that she can and should give Albert a “real” role in the palace/the monarchy. The essence of the story is not really spoilt by stopping it here – and, anyhow, the film fills in the rest of their story through a few end-titles.
As a biopic, it’s a lovely romance. As a film, it’s a pretty traditional costume drama. That said, the acting is excellent – with Emily Blunt as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Albert being particularly convincing. The costuming and the sets are sumptuous. The script is crisp and natural. The music is full and strong, but a little heavy-handed in places, a little too traditionally appropriate to an historical royal biopic, if you know what I mean.
From my knowledge, the film is pretty accurate historically, with just a few bits here and there exaggerated for dramatic effect. It deals lightly but clearly enough with the various political agendas running at the time – as they related to Victoria. All in all, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film…and if it’s about anything (besides, that is, being the story of Victoria and her Albert) it’s about the idealism of youth. What a lovely pair they made.