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He was the only man in the country not to love his Wife
The Duchess (DVD)
Member Name: sewbizzie
The Duchess (DVD)
Advantages: Some good acting and good storyline
Disadvantages: Did not seem as powerful and moving as other period films
FILM ONLY REVIEW
The year is 1774 and Georgiana, a young lady from a well to do family is ask by the Duke of Devonshire for her hand in marriage, she is unaware of her mothers involvement with the Duke who says she will be able to give him the son he needs. Georgiana is happy to be married and takes the title of the Duchess of Devonshire. Soon the Duchess is pregnant and they are both happy despite her feeling her husband is not loving enough towards her. Unfortunately the Duchess gives birth to a daughter and also has to take on a girl with the Duke fathered a few years before they met.
The Duke is still desperate for a son and so he gets the Duchess pregnant again and they both hope for a son. As the Duke does not love Georgiana he carries on with other women but Georgiana lets he off with this as it has never been with anyone important and no one she knows. When she again has another girl the strain really does start to show on the family.
Will the Duchess be able to give her husband a son and just how far will the Duke go with his extra marital affairs and what impact will this have on the whole family?
I was looking forward to seeing this film as I have seen a few period films recently and they have all been enjoyable, unfortunately I have to say this one was not as good as others I have seen. I found the storyline was good but a little complicated at times and very far fetched. I know that in the 1700's divorce was not common and so the Duke and Duchess would not get divorced but when others people moved into the house I just found it went too far and I don't know how he was allowed to be living like this and why the public never queried it.
Keira Knightly played the role of the Duchess / Georgiana and she was good in the role but I just felt she was not giving it her all and how she could have expressed so many more emotions. She did look wonderful in her period costumes and they did suit her but I felt she was holding back fully from the role. The chemistry between her and Ralph Fiennes was none existent and for me this was not a good thing. I know they were both in a loveless marriage but there should have been at least some chemistry with the couple as they did marry and wanted people to believe they were in love. I do have to say Ralph did a great job in his role despite the fact I did not like him. He played the role of not being able to express himself and speak of his feelings very well and I loved how she managed to show how uncomfortable he was with his wife.
There were a lot of good strong supporting actors and characters in the film who all played such diverse and different characters and this did help with the plot to the film. Some of my favourite characters were Mr Fox, the politician and General Grey and they seemed to genuinely care for the Duchess and want her to be happy.
The film is set back in 1774 and this is very apparent right from the start, the costumes which the ladies wore were wonderful and looked super but for me I don't know how they managed to wear them as they looked uncomfortable to be in all day everyday day. I loved the little hats and accessories which the Duchess would add to her dresses and hair as this showed she was an independent woman who knew what she wanted and how to express herself. I did find the men's costumes to be quite funny at times and I did not like their hair styles and this was made worse when we saw the Duke keep taking his wig off. The sets for the film were also very good and all looked authentic for the year and I loved the old fashioned way of life which they showed.
The music throughout the film had a very classical feel and this really did help with the telling of the story and getting the emotions right.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak of. The running time of the film is 110 minutes and I did find this was quite long enough. The certificate is a 12A and I definitely agree with this as there are some inappropriate scenes. The DVD can be bought for around the £5 on Amazon and I do feel this is much better than £10.
Overall I do recommend this film as it has some good acting and a fairly good storyline but this is not as strong or dramatic as other period dramas around at the moment. Still a good enjoyable watch but try to get it for a low price.
Summary: The Duchess has a loveless marriage but can she live with it?