Film Review – Margrete: Queen of the North

Margrete I

Europe has a long and eventful history, much of which is shared, but we only tend to learn about the important kings and queens growing up. These are almost always, our own, or those who have been at war with us. As a consequence, I know very little of Scandinavia’s past, outside of those elements which impacted directly on our timeline (The Vikings, King Canute etc). In truth, it’s very complex and complicated, but one of the key figures is captured in Margrete: Queen of the North.

The year is 1402. Margrete I (Trine Dyrholm) has united the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden by agreeing the Kalmar Union. After the death of her son Oluf, she needed a king they would all follow. King Erik (Morten Hee Andersen), her great-nephew, fitted the bill. She is trying to arrange his marriage to Princess Philippa of England, the daughter of Henry IV, in order to strengthen her powerbase. However, when a figure from the past comes back from the dead, her plans begin to fall apart.

Margrete: Queen of the North is an impressive piece of period filmmaking. Indeed, it looks stunning, with beautiful cinematography from Rasmus Videbæk; which at times borders on the breathtaking. Director Charlotte Sieling’s pays great attention to detail, while the cast is universally strong. Although the choice to tinker with the facts in order to keep the emphasis on the titular queen, possibly works against it. Nevertheless, Margrete: Queen of the North is an epic historical drama about a fascinating period in time.  

Margrete: Queen of the North is in select cinemas and On Demand in the US from 17 December.

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