A ROYAL AFFAIR
“A Royal Affair” is Denmark’s official entry for 2012 Best Foreign Picture. The state of movie going must be dismal in Denmark. This film is a far cry from “Reptilicus”.
Driector Nikolai Arcel pieces together a tale only the most die-hard Obama supporter could appreciate. His movie is vaguely based on Bodil Steensen-Leth’s novel; Rasmus Heisterberg adapted the screenplay after consulting with the World Socialist Party (WSP).
Mads Mikkelsen plays Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee, just a simple country doctor in the vein of Leonard McCoy, who is also a radical progressive. At a time when over 80 percent of Denmark is illiterate, he wants to place concern for the people as government’s main priority. He writes pamphlets on an expansive nanny state government, which coddles and rules its people from crib to grave. Bronco Bama is already having orgasms.
Through a series of events, he manages to become doctor and counselor to King Christian VII, played by Mikkel Boe Folsgaard. He repays his good fortune by seducing and conducting an affair, which results in bastard pregnancy with Christian’s wife, and the Queen, Caroline Mathilde, played by Alicia Vikander. Progressives are always so amoral. Never leave your kids with one.
When we first meet Christian, he is eccentric, but in command of his faculties. By the time Struensee is finished pushing his ideologies on him, Christian is reduced to an imbecilic pedophile with a penchant for little black boys (I have a snarky remark here about chocolate Danish, but it would definitely set off the insensitivity meter).
Struensee and the Queen stage a coup, supplanting the King, and engineer a Denmark society that gives the people nearly everything they need. This coup is necessary because the folks in power where money-grabbing land owners who were “clinging to their guns and religion”. Very precocious, these Danish. The people, who are living la vida loca, naturally are not satisfied and want more. When it doesn’t come immediately to their doors, gift wrapped and delivered, they blame Struensee, because he’s a German and an outsider.
Speaking of the Germans, Struensee discovers all his government programs cost money - money the government does not have; so, like any great progressive thinker, he opts to raise taxes. But, as Americans are slowly discovering, there is never enough money from taxes when you desire to play Santa Claus. So, Struensee opts to cut costs and does so by eliminating the military. This makes the Germans very happy because they are anxious to roll over Denmark like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Why are the Germans always the bad guys in these movies?
Anyway, it doesn’t take long for the banished landowners to realize there John Gault maneuver is about to result in all the Danish becoming Strudel, so they return to mount a coup of their own. All grand and emotional doings, surrounded by a forbidden love (cue Fabio). The truly frightening element of “A Royal Affair” is how many of today’s headlines, and Administration dictates, parallel this speedbump in Denmark’s growth. I reckon the old adage rings true: “Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. Think any of the Obama supporters, as they wait for their goodies to be delivered to their doors, are even aware of any history before their own birth?
I guess there is still hope for filmmaking in Denmark. The claw blown off of Reptilicus at the film’s end was moving and starting to regenerate. After suffering through “A Royal Affair”, “The Return of Reptilicus” would be most welcome, indeed.
THE GRADE FOR A ROYAL AFFAIR = D.
Fiore Mastracci is an award-winning filmcritic and broadcaster living in Pittsburgh. He loves Danish in the morning with a strong cup of Espresso coffee.