Not another typical love triangle film

By Brittany Lavin
March 27, 2008

Columbia Pictures

Based on the novel by Phillipa Gregory and adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan, “The Other Boleyn Girl” delivers a tale of the very nature of seduction, betrayal and ambition.

The film follows the story of Henry VIII and his many wives, a concept we have seen before in films such as “A Man for All Seasons” and more recently in the Showtime original series “The Tudors.”

Even though we have seen the story before, “The Other Boleyn Girl” gives it a fresh take with the help of performances by Eric Bana, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson who take on the three points of this love triangle.

Early in the film we are introduced to the Boleyn family, who plans to set Anne (Portman), the oldest daughter, up with King Henry (Bana) whose wife has continually failed to produce a male heir. Here we also see up-and-coming actor Jim Sturgess, best known for his role in last year’s “Across the Universe,” play a brother to Portman and Johansson as George Boleyn.

However, when a hunting accident causes Anne to fall out of Henry’s good graces, the Boleyn family offers up its other daughter, Mary (Johansson), who is opposite to Anne in every way from her hair color to her behavior. While Anne is flirtatious and proud, Mary is gentle and submissive.

The king takes to Mary immediately and makes her his mistress. With this act, the Boleyn’s ambition to achieve power is seemingly fulfilled. However, Anne’s ruthless determination to become queen tears the sisters and possibly England apart.

Though the film has been given mixed reviews by critics, it is definitely worth seeing if you’re a fan of history or even just a fan of Bana, Portman or Johansson.

Not just your typical romantic drama, “The Other Boleyn Girl” mixes history and fiction while at the same time teaches you about the bonds of sisterhood and how far one will go to attain power.

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Brittany Lavin

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