The Other Boleyn Girl
review by Neo

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Year: 2008

Box Office: USD$26,814,957

Director: Justin Chadwick

Producer: Alison Owen

Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Jim Sturgess, Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ana Torrent

Genre: Historical Romantic Drama

Tagline: A tale of two sisters…

Review by Neo: In a dream combination of two of Neoís favourite Hollywood starlets, Natalie Portman and Scarlet Johansson, movies just donít get better marketing than this, at least in Neoís honest opinion. Without being too bias, the two stars radiate the sort of screen beauty that is enough to keep Neo focused and watching for the entire 2 hours duration. Perhaps it is the style of Portman, or the angelic face of Scarlet, the movie is well-paced, at times compelling, filled with moments of tension all add up to disguise what is actually a thinly plotted historical drama. Still, the film somehow managed to brisk by the 2 hour duration without a second of boredom and thatís an achievement alone.

History have always been an area of interest within Neoís life and while he is very much an ancient historian, his fascination in King Henry VIII is without question. Perhaps it is his ability to conquer 8 wives or maybe it is the tragedy of his character, King Henry is by far the most interesting and fascinating King of England. Aussie Eric Bana is given the aforementioned role and unfortunately despite his undeniable coolness his character is never given a role where Bana can stamp his authority and depth. The answer to this is that this is ultimately a vehicle for the two starlets to perform and most notably Natalie Portman.

Portman have always been the stylish one, but then again this is probably because she shares the same favourite colour with the current reviewer Ė sky blue. With that aside, Portman who stole the show in My Blueberry Nights (which will be released later in the year), outshone the entire cast in a role that she is born to play. Jealousy, death stares, threats, sexy, deadly are a few side of her character and more importantly she is able to do so with radiating screen presence. Her final scenes of awaiting death are a perfect indication that Portman have certainly come of age since her stoic Star Wars days.

It is without question that Neo likes Scarlet Johansson and here she reprises the sort of innocence last seen in A Girl With a Pearl Earring. She is suitably elegant, graceful, lovable and absolutely adoring. Despite being hampered by some awful makeup (Whoever did the makeup on her, should never work in a movie again!), Scarlet manages to match Portman, despite the later star given a more substantial role. Who can forget the expression on her face when she faces her uncle and father in the question of how many times did she do it with the King. Her expression was just priceless and the look on her face tells a thousand words.

All in all, The Other Boleyn Girl is a movie that brisk by despite clocking a little under 2 hours. It is a credit to the producers and director for creating plenty of thrilling and tense filled moments of timeless themes in romance, betrayal, love and redemption and doing it in absolute fine style. It is easy to be critical about such a film, as the plot is so thin that you can probably sum it all up in a single line. Luckily, the actors carry the film up and above all shoulders and the result is an entertaining if not substantial ride. While the film is certainly the case of what couldíve been and what ifs, the film is still enjoyable enough for any fans of the above stars to sit through. Then again, who can resists the charm of Scarlet Johansson and the style of Natalie Portman, well at least, Neo cannot… (Neo 2008)

I rate it 6.75/10

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