With movie budgets what they are today most money seem spent on special effects than a
good old fashion pageant of a movie. The producers of Elizabeth bring us back to the hay
day of Hollywood when a lavish set, fantastic costumes and epics scenery command the
picture. Still, all this would be fluff unless there was substance behind it. Elizabeth
has substance in great abundance. The story concerns the first five years in the reign of
Elizabeth the first (1533-1538). She was born from Henry VIII and Anne Bolene. A
Protestant in a Catholic dominated country. The young girl is brought to the Tower of
London presumably to die. Instead the dying Catholic Queen Mary, Elizabeth's half sister,
tries to convince Elizabeth to renounce her faith and accept Catholicism. The young girl
promises only to rule with her conscience. The coronation is a sight to behold and soon
the young Elizabeth is Queen of England. Soon she finds herself in the midst of plots with
in plots, a failing love affair, international pressure and pretenders to the throne.
Elizabeth is incredibly played by Cate Blanchett who acts every inch the queen. Her
closest advisor is played by Sir Richard Attenborough very under deployed in this film.
Always around plotting for the queen is the master puppet master gloriously played by
Geoffrey Rush. Each scene is well crafted by director Shekhar Kapur. The pace of the movie
brings you along on a ride to another century. A must see movie.
The DVD itself lives up to the movie. The sound is realistic. This movie proves that
Dolby 5.1 can be used for a lot more than special effects. The high stone walls of
the castles reverberate with the sound of movement, voices and music. The outdoor scenes
are alive with sounds of nature. Each moment is so real you can forget you are in your
living room. The picture is clear and free of defects although at the 133 minute mark
there was a bit of flutter as the DVD player changed layers. The colors are bright, the
darkly lit scenes are clear and realistic. This one is for the serious movie lover and is
a must have.