Thursday, 15 November 2007

Freedive with Sir Walter Raleigh

Last night I watched an overblown and silly film about Elizabeth I, Elizabeth the Golden Years.

Now I acknowledge that artistic licence is the prerogative of historical drama and that the various shenanigans made for a rather entertaining film, but some aspects of this stylized movie deserve particular mention for being so draw-droppingly daft!

The movie was a brief skite over events leading up to and surrounding the 1588 Spanish Armada, climaxing with the defeat of Phillip II’s fleet. Historically this was masterminded by Lord High Admiral Charles Howard aided by inclement weather, although from the film it was tempting to conclude that victory was mainly attributable to Sir Walter Raleigh.

Some of the most extraordinary scenes accompanied this battle, particularly the moment when Raleigh (Clive Owen) unaccountably executed a graceful dive from his ship and spent several minutes swimming purposefully under the tumultuous battle above. I believe that Raleigh was responsible for the coastal defence of Devon during the Armada and was remarkably efficient at raising levies to facilitate the war effort, who would have thought that he also went diving underneath the Spanish fleet in such cunning fashion!

Sadly the exegesis of this remarkable underwater action was not provided in the film as the action cut away and we only learned Walter’s fate later when he appeared unscathed and remarkably dry on the deck of another English ship.

Kudos must also go to the Queen (Cate Blanchett) herself who observed the unfolding action in a solitary cliff-top vigil as the storm blew her night gown dramatically backward, lightning flashed and the ships flickered in a warm CGI glow on the horizon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased the first Elizabeth and thoroughly enjoyed it, Cate Blanchett's performance was fantastic. Haven't yet seen The Golden Age but have my concerns re Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh and the fact that seemingly Sir Francis drake does not get a mention!!?