For a film that Scarlett Johansson wanted to play the lead in back in 2006, but decided to drop, “Mary Queen of Scots” ended up being a project of a mess for the last twelve years. I foud “Mary Queen of Scots'” to be like I was watching the old series on Showtime, “The Tudors” (2007-2010). Not because, of the premise being similar to that TV show, but because the story seemed like it was lacking. If I were to go with some movie math, here is how I would describe the film: take “The Other Boleyn Girl” (2008) mixed with a little bit of “The Lover” (1992), and add some of “Brooklyn” (Which also had Saoirse Ronan and was brilliant) and end up being confused about what the focus is. Is it either battle for love or revenge. That is why I felt “Mary Queen of Scots” was somewhat difficult to follow.
The plot of the film is Mary Stuart (Ronan) wants to try to put an end to her cousin Elizabeth I (played by Margot Robbie) who is the Queen of England. However, this puts Stuart in a tough situation. She begins to realize that the queen has much more power and authority than she had thought. The film starts to become a poorly done cat and mouse game in terms of marriage and independence. I found that there was a decent amount of dialogue to somewhat help understand what was going on in the movie, but not enough factors were brought into the background to understand the historic value of the film. I found the script focused more on moments of jealousy, revenge, and power over helping viewers see what the historic conflicts are.
Generally, I do all I can to not be very negative about movies, so I am going to give “Mary Queen of Scots” some credit. Ronan and Robbie were both stellar. I loved Ronan in last years Lady Bird (2017), and Robbie in “I, Tonya” (2017). Both have the voices to play the roles of these historic figures. Also, I was fond of the cinematography because the views and sights were just breathtaking. The costumes had value in the film. I felt like there were moments where the costumes played suspense in the movie. That is because the clothing back then was quite complex to deal with and in those moments of complexity due to that, it created suspense.
One of the writers, Beau Willimon, did the writing for Netflix’s “House of Cards” (2013) and George Clooney’s, “The Ides of March (2011). I find given he has done writing in terms of politics, that is why revenge and such in terms of having power played a big role in “Mary Queen of Scots.”
Now, this is not a horrible movie, or a great movie, it is just slightly mediocre. I find now when it comes to historic films and TV shows (where now we have had plenty), lots of people nowadays care more about the action and dramatic situations over the actual historic backgrounds of what actually happened back then .Therefore, I will say two and a half stars for this movie.