Rating: 3/5 Stars
Cast: Sarah Gadon (Princess Elizabeth), Bel Powley (Princess Margaret), Emily Watson (Queen Elizabeth), Rupert Everett (King George VI), Jack Reynor (Jack), Jack Laskey (Captain Pryce), John Neville (Spiv), and Samantha Baines (Mary)
Director: Julian Jarrold
Synopsis: May 8, 1945 is a day like no other, especially for the royals in the Buckingham Palace. Princess Elizabeth convinces his father to let them celebrate the Victory in Europe Day in a way that is far different from what they have been accustomed to. King George buys the idea, sending the two sisters frolicking in the streets of London.
Who would have thought that Helen Mirren’s brilliant portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’ 1996 film The Queen would signify a huge proliferation of movies that touch stories about the royal family? Just like director Jarrold’s A Royal Night out. Although the angle of the narrative is centred on two teenage princesses, this British comedy-drama film is really a charming and brightly-spirited offer to viewers
It is May 8, 1945, a historical date that marks the end of war in Europe and Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth have the opportunity to celebrate this memorable day with the rest of the people. After successfully convincing King George VI, the two sisters begin to frolic in the streets of London. But everything does not go as planned as Elizabeth soon finds herself separated from Margaret.
Can the future queen of London survive amidst the crowd of strangers?
You can use some imaginings there, but definitely it is not rocket science to see Gadon’s compelling acting as a princess who wanders far from her sheltered life for a moment. Yet while her character is formed around the role of a princess who is next to the throne, it is Powley who gets to shine more in her performance. Why not, she has all the most appealing lines that regularly elicit laughter from the audience and this has delightfully made her role. Regardless of their character differences, Powley and Gadon proved that they are capable of providing royal entertainment.
Everett and Watson are equally impressive. Their characters have just added humour to this light-hearted entertainment affair. If only their characters where given more exposure and development, they could have aced the roles and increased the film dynamics.
Meanwhile, Jarrold is noticeably genius when it comes to transforming modern London into a 1945 festive city. His previous masterpieces such as Becoming Jane and Brideshead Revisited had absolutely ushered him again in evoking that unique poignant vibe as reflected in this tale of royals set in an old era.
Is A Royal Night Out worth watching? While this film is not the most enthralling royal film there is, one thing is for sure, it has an infectious celebratory feel to it that will enchant its viewers if they take the time to sit until the credit rolls. It’s a royal treat, so go and see this film!