Blu-ray Review: Strong Performances, Passionate Production Carry ‘A Royal Affair’

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CHICAGO – A bit exhausted from the general air of seriousness that permeates awards season while also just tired of mediocre period dramas in general, I approached my screener of “A Royal Affair” with a serious degree of doubt. Nikolaj Arcel’s film is a pleasant surprise, a passionate piece about a love triangle that helped start a revolution. With spectacular production values and a trio of strong performances, Arcel’s film was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD and I’d advise you to be more optimistic than I was upon its arrival. Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The main reason for the success of this tale of a forbidden romance that actually influenced a country through its puppet-like impact on a Danish King is the strength and believability of performance from its two captivating leads — Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”). The former is relatively new on the scene but gives a sexy, charming turn here that keeps the potential stuffiness of the period drama always at bay while the latter is becoming a more interesting actor with every performance. And he was pretty fascinating before this complex turn as an intellectual who sees both the potential for societal change and pure passion in his dalliance with a young Queen. The Blu-ray from Magnolia is well-transferred in HD and the special features aren’t incredibly informative but offer more than the average small-studio period piece of today.

A Royal Affair was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26, 2013
A Royal Affair was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26, 2013
Photo credit: Magnolia

A ROYAL AFFAIR is the true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution. Centering on the intriguing love triangle between the ever more insane Danish King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), the royal physician who is a man of enlightenment and idealism Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and the young but strong Queen Caroline Mathilda (Alicia Vikander), A ROYAL AFFAIR is the gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in the pursuit of freedom for their people… and above all, it is the story of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.

Special Features:
o Interview with Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Arcel, and Alicia Vikander
o Portraits and Biographies
o Royal Family Tree
o Theatrical Trailer

“A Royal Affair” stars Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, and Mikkel Boe Folsgaard. It was directed by Nikolaj Arcel and released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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