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‘The Favourite’ is now playing at The Athena Cinema. (via @joe.alwyn on Instagram)

Film Review: 'The Favourite' provides a royally twisted triangle that feeds on power and greed

It was absolutely clear what the movie The Favourite was trying to do. The film was meant to be a historical tongue-in-cheek story revolving around three women in 18th century England who possessed immense power, which was a rarity, that touched on issues of greed, romance, friendship and jealousy. However, the execution of the story caused a royal confusion when the comedy turned dark and left the audience to think about what they watched for weeks to come. 

Emma Stone is a well-known actress who has given countless impressive performances in movies like Easy A, La La Land and Battle of the Sexes. Needless to say that when it was announced Stone would be one of the leads in The Favourite, audiences were excited to see what sensational performance she would deliver next. 

Stone’s performance as Abigail was one of the best parts of the film. With her abundant emotional range, her spot-on accent and slow decline into greed, Stone’s performance was one to remember. Stone’s co-star Rachel Weisz also delivered a memorable performance as Sarah. Weisz’s serious and dark approach to her character were so exciting to watch. The two displayed electric friction that was radiant throughout the entirety of the film. 

Though Stone and Weisz both give spunky and brilliantly twisted portrayals, Olivia Colman’s performance as Queen Anne was positively remarkable. Colman essentially displayed every human emotion in the book throughout the film’s duration. She fully committed herself to the insanity of her character, while being a romantic and strong character who isn’t afraid to show her emotions to the masses.

Though the performances from the powerful trio were undoubtedly the highlight of the film, it’s important to note the exquisite costumes designed by Sandy Powell. Powell’s lavish design perfectly captured the vision for the film: a period piece with certain liberties. The queen’s outfits are notable, because it’s easy to see how she feels based on what she’s wearing. However, it’s Stone and Weisz’s costumes that stand out the most. Stone’s outfits reflect her progression in status throughout the castle. Weisz’s costumes left the audience to subliminally think about her occasional masculine look, which accents her dominance and the serious nature of the period. 

The farcical tone of the film was clear from the beginning, but at some point in the film, the comedic delivery changed into a dark and slightly disturbing tone. That was especially accented with its eerie score, made up by a slew of classical composers including Bach, Schubert, Handel and Vivaldi. The music is the only recognizable transition between the farce and the drama. The film also features Elton John’s “Skyline Pigeon” playing over the end credits, which beautifully and perfectly captures the essence of the film. 

Though the film was a bit far-fetched and slightly disturbing, director Yorgos Lanthimos did a wonderful job of making the statement on people’s power-hungry and shallow natures. In addition, he does an incredible job of capturing the little details of the film that set it apart from others. From the camera angles to the overall direction of the film, Lanthimos certainly created an unforgettable project. 

The Favourite is propelled through a kinky romance triangle and power-hungry moves in a human chess-match with everything to lose. The unexpected twist from a period farce to the iniquitous ending with absolutely no transition left audiences to wonder what they had just watched, and it even had some of the audience members walking out in the middle of the film. 

Though there are a lot of important reasons to see the film, it’s definitely one that is a hit or miss for some people. Whether you love the film or hate it, be prepared to think and digest the film for at least a week after watching it. 


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