Tag: The Duchess

Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess – Critical Review

Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess – Critical Review

Actors Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes worked together in the worst movie plot I have ever seen, entitled The Duchess. Though two or three weeks have passed since I watched this movie, I dare not watch it again for a simple review. For The Duchess movie ought to disappear from the record books.



The Disastrous Plotline in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as “Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire”.
Photo by Nick Wall

Never before have I seen a historical woman so skewed in a movie to fit the feminist agenda. Though I have yet to acquire a book on the Duchess of Devonshire, I know just enough from online sources to realize the woman’s greater accomplishments. Other than those of surviving a bad marriage.

Keira Knightley played the young woman who became the Duchess of Devonshire. Carefree and flexible, she left her friends to elevate in social ranking by marrying the Duke, William Cavendish. Right from the beginning, the screenwriter showed Duchess Georgiana as being the poor victim who must produce a male heir for a despicable man.



The Duchess
Duke William Cavendish of Devonshire

How did the Duke show himself despicable? Well, he chose his wife’s traveling companion as his mistress. Expressing her anger at the relationship, Duchess Georgiana verbally spat at the Duke and proclaimed to never make love with him again. Upon which the Duke forced himself upon her, and then went back to Lady Bess Foster. From the rape came Duchess Georgiana’s first and only son.

When the Duchess found a childhood friend who loved her deeply, the Duke forbade any love affair, despite his own with Lady Bess. To remain in contact with her daughters and son with the Duke, she permanently disconnected with her friend, who later became Prime Minister Charles Grey. Lady Bess comforted her, so Duchess Georgiana soon stood down and allowed Lady Bess and the Duke to marry. From her one-time affair with Sir Charles came a daughter, whom the Lady Georgiana visited frequently.



Feminist Activists Seen at Work in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire stars in THE DUCHESS, a Paramount Vantage release. Photo by Peter Mountain

Real-life Duchess Georgiana played a large and significant role in fashion and politics. Whereas the Duke seemed moody and disinterested in common affairs, the Duchess would actively participate in the political dinners and gatherings. Hence how she came across her childhood friend, Sir Charles Grey.

Moreover, Duchess Georgiana was anything but a saint. For in her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, she acquired massive amounts of gambling debt. This also served to prove her relations with the political heads, because gambling served as a frequent pastime among the ladies and gentlemen.

To finetune the plot, and keep the movie from showing as something unpolitical, more emphasis should have been placed on the social times. For during the time in which the Duchess lived, religion had a strong hold on how people behaved. Many things done today didn’t exist in England’s past. Therefore, to expect Duke William Cavendish to behave the same way as modernday husbands is ridiculous.



Recommendations for The Duchess

Movie critics loved this movie. Something which makes sense to me, considering the generally widespread liberal agenda sweeping across Europe and the United States. According to the critics, since this movie criticized men, it was a masterpiece.

As for me, I found the film completely unfair to men and historically ambiguous. The Duchess of Devonshire had power! She was no fainting damsel in distress. Consequently, I cannot in good conscious recommend this film. While the costume designer created beautiful garments, he failed to save the disastrous plotline. So, please, spare yourselves the pain and watch something historically and politically sound.