BRWC Reviews – The Girl King

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The Girl King tells the story of Sweden’s 17th Century ‘Virgin-Queen’. Queen since the age of 6, Kristina has been raised as a man so she’d be fit to rule. On her 18th birthday and her true ascension, Kristina embarks on a short but progressive rule as she fights for French modernisation whilst battling with her own religion and sexuality.

Queen Kristina’s thrity year rule in an infamous one. Leading to her eventual abdication and residence at The Vatican, flouting her strict Lutheran upbringing throughout her reign. Mila Karismaki’s film is undoubtedly an interesting portrayal of this infamous Queens life. Yet, for me, it’s overall finish doesnn’t equal the interest of the Queen herself. Skipping almost instantly from her time living with her grief ridden mother, who still insisted Kristina kiss her father’s putrifying corpse two years after his death, we’re taken immediately to Kristina’s ascension twelve years later.

Whilst the film tried to build on Kristina’s motivation and her exploration of self. The sudden rebellion during her ascension seems odd and difficult to understand without context.

We know very little of her upbrining since being removed from her mother’s care and Kristina’s opposition to marriage, her sexuality and love affair with lady in waiting Countess Ebba Sparse (Sarah Gadon) aren’t explained or understood except for reference to her being ‘ariased as a King’. There’s such an incredible focus on Kritina’s love affair that it’s clear that Karismaki sees Kristina as a beacon for dicussing sexuality. Whilst this is an incredible discussion and a great aspect of this characters life, Karismaki would have been better either to focus entirely on this point or more evenly spread it throughout. It dominates her other traits and becomes so much of a focus later on that we lose sight of all the other intricacies. This ultimately makes he eventual conversion to Catholicsm confusing as we’ve seen so little of her religious growth.



Malin Buska gives a good performance, winning awards in Montreal. However, overall, I feel the piece has very much a silver screen vibe and was a dissapointment. It didn’t hit the heights of expectation or possibility created by it’s source material.

Unfortunately, I’d say this is one to miss. But, if you’re still interested, the trailer is below.


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Films, games, Godzilla and Scott Pilgrim; these are the things that Alex loves. As he tries to make use of the fact he’s always staring at a screen or in a book, you’ll hopefully be treated to some good reviews along the way (though he doesn’t promise anything).

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