Queen of the Desert

2015

Action / Adventure / Biography / Drama / History / Romance

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 6%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 92%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 7242

Synopsis


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February 12, 2016 at 08:44 AM

Director

Cast

Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell
James Franco as Henry Cadogan
Robert Pattinson as Col. T.E. Lawrence
Damian Lewis as Charles Doughty-Wylie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
942.1 MB
1280*534
English
PG-13
24 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 9 / 17
1.95 GB
1920*800
English
PG-13
24 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 7 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by frogsaroyan 9 / 10

What A Beautiful Film

I believe that Queen of The Desert is greater than the sum of its parts, and that its parts are inspired to begin with. So many things about this film are beyond beautiful, they are sublime. I watched it twice. I don't know if Werner Herzog wanted to make a Hollywood-style period romance, and it doesn't matter to me whether anyone else thinks he achieved creating one or not.

The film isn't about a romance, it's about romance, period. Specifically, the romance that can find itself at the center of someone's life. Herzog told a story in which Bell had multiple romantic relationships that weren't just with people. In this way he gave her character a deep spiritual life. She had a fling with poetry and writing, an affair with the desert, passion for traveling, true love with multiple men, and loving friendships. In addition, every main character is shown to be loving in some way. I like TE Lawrence's character (played delightfully by Robert Pattinson) because he tries like mad to avoid romance, but also seems to be feigning his aversion.

In QOTD, many characters risk their lives for love, and some do give their lives. It isn't just one or two main characters, and it isn't just for the love of another person.

Near the end of QOTD, a bedouin leader asks Bell why she loves them (Arabs) so much. By her answer, which is a tribute to her trusted guide Fattuh, we understand what she's all about, and what this film is all about. It's beautifully written dialogue by Herzog.

One of my very favourite things about this film was the number of times Kidman was shown laughing. There is hardly a character in the film with whom she isn't seen sharing a good laugh. The film isn't funny, and Bell wasn't meant to be comedic. And yet there is this frequent laughter. That's joy. There's joy in this film. This is what has made Queen of The Desert one of my favourite movies of all time.

I enjoyed the "dreaminess" of the film. In no way was it psychedelic or self-referential (done for effect). It was written into Gertrude Bell's character. This was a wonderful artistic choice.

Random things I loved: The references to poetry and literature. The loud camels nearly ruining the grand orchestral score. The steampunk-ish pistols in the case. James Franco flirting like only James Franco can. The snow in the desert! No subtitles. And most of all, the use of a good number of truly great actors from around the world who are of Arab descent.

Some favourite moments: the close-up on Bell when she and Cadogan hold hands for the first time. When Doughty-Wylie kisses her for the first time and her reaction is shown at length (such complex acting from Kidman and Lewis here, especially Kidman). The hand-held camera at the desert camp. The pain of the young Arab messenger as he confesses to Bell, "I would give anything for a woman like you," knowing he would never see her again but for that moment. The Shiek of the Druze talking Virgil.

Anytime a filmmaker is both writer and director, like Herzog is here, there will be a divergence from the tropes of the genre in which his film may be expected to fit. Hopefully the audience will buy in to his vision. I did wholeheartedly.

Reviewed by rosaleeadams 10 / 10

brought back memories

I was in the Peace Corps in Turkey in the early '60s. This film brought back memories in so many ways. My roommate and I, traveled extensively also when we were not involved in TEFL in a town in SW Turkey. I still remember details about our time and cherish it all. So much of what we saw is gone now due to deliberate destruction, e.g. Palmyra, or due to war in the region. I loved the film and realize movie license when I see it. Apparently others do not. (Also have studied Bell and she was amazing given the time frame when she lived. It was still like that in some ways for my roommate and I living and traveling even then in the ME)

Reviewed by svonsawilski 10 / 10

Historical Renactment of Importance

As the Ottoman Empire was collapsing Gertrude came in with knowledge of the tribal systems of the people and was able to help the authorities set up kingdoms with appointed Kings from the appropriate lineage to assauge the people. Thereby making the transition to life after the Ottoman Empire peaceful and firmly undergirded. The acting, settings and captioning made it an easy and enjoyable film to watch. A useful tool in the study of Gertrude who was the "Uncrowned Queen of the Desert who was divinely assigned to appoint Kings".

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