The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★

”Rub my legs.”

In the early 18th century Queen Anne seizes the throne. It was during her reign that the Kingdom of England, Scotland and Ireland became united as single sovereign state known as Great Britain. Anne had over her shoulders tough diplomatic decisions: she had to determine whether the war against France should continue to be fought and if taxes were to be risen. The economy was going pear-shaped and rumors that the people were unsatisfied begin to surface within her nearly impenetrable aristocratic bubble of racing ducks. It does not help that the Queen was not the smartest person in the room. Permanently ill with gout, a condition that inflames the joints causing unmeasurable pain, Anne is many of the times under a hallucinatory state. Her political inferiors, as well as her dear favorites, take advantage of her illness, as well as her emotional vulnerability, manipulating her into doing whatever they which. Olivia Colman does find humor in this woman’s delusional mind by underlining her unusual mannerisms, but what stands out is her desperate craving for true unconditional love which she only finds in her bunnies.

Although admittedly competent as a study of a Queen that felt that she had failed as a woman and monarch, “The Favourite” (2018) impresses for its riotous comic nature that reverberates loudly given the current affairs of international diplomacy. The narrative is fueled by the acerbic animosity between Abigail Hill and Sara Churchill. The two cousins fight for a position by the Queen’s side – something which Anne rather enjoys for this makes them work harder to please her. The punchlines they fire at each other have the strength of actual punches and the ploys they engender to destroy one another are hilariously perverted. Lanthimos gives hate and anxiety a tridimensional form. He, like few others, finds humor in our bizarre ways and passions.


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