FILM REVIEW: A Royal Affair (15)

FORBIDDEN romance in the 18th century Danish court has dramatic repercussions for the country in this elegant and visually arresting historical drama directed by Nikolaj Arcel.

While reforms sweep across the rest of Europe, Denmark remains firmly in the control of a King’s council that favours the rich and privileged.

Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) is married off to her cousin King Christian VII (Mikkel Folsgaard), whose mental instability is mercilessly exploited by the council, who demand his signature on legislation without ever requiring him to understand the laws he is passing.

Relations with Caroline Mathilde deteriorate after she produces a male heir, Frederick VI (William Johnk Nielsen), and the Queen seeks emotional comfort instead in the arms of the King’s personal physician, Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen), who shares her political leanings.

Together, they attempt to influence the King and alter the balance of power in the country away from the nobility.

Review by Damon Smith

137 mins

Released June 15, selected cinemas only