Mary (Saoirse Ronan) returns home to Scotland in order to claim her rightful place as Queen. She’s been living in France, where she was also Queen, but was recently widowed. But, she is not exactly welcomed with open arms into the world of men and when she also decides to set her sights on becoming successor to the crown of England, a power struggle ensues. Both at home in Scotland, and in England with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie).
There’s not very much that I enjoyed about this movie to be honest. The costumes and the beautiful Scottish countryside are impressive, but with such an important and intriguing period in history, involving two extremely interesting and strong women, I expected so much more from this. The movie attempts to cover so much ground in its two hour run-time, barely focusing on any particular element of the story for very long. Vast numbers of characters are introduced, none of which are given enough time for you to feel any kind of interest or emotional investment in and at times it drastically shifts between varying tones, with confusing editing not really helping to make sense of all the political intrigue.
What the movie does manage to successfully portray is that all men in power are complete bastards. Scheming, plotting and murdering, all for their own gains and agenda. It’s sad that, aside from the murdering (I hope!), not much seems to have changed in modern day politics.
Despite everything though, both female leads, particularly Saoirse Ronan, are actually very good in this. Probably the best and most powerful scene in the movie is when they finally meet alone towards the end (something which didn’t actually happen in real life!). Sadly though, I was fidgeting in my seat up until that point just waiting for it all to end.