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Shekar Kapur did an outstanding job bringing the history of Elizabeth, one of England’s greatest monarchs, to the screen in a modern way. Yet to understand Elizabeth’s rise to power, one must understand the reign of her family. Her father, Henry VIII, at the time a Catholic, was famous not only for his reign but also for marrying six wives. While married to his first wife, Catherine, only one of their seven children survived, Mary Tudor. Wanting to produce a male heir and for the sake of convenience, Henry became Protestant. He became Protestant because he wanted to divorce Catherine, and in the Catholic religion you were not allowed to do so. And so with his second wife, Anne Boleyn, they gave birth to Elizabeth I. With still no son, he moved on to the next wife to give birth to Edward VI. When Edward VI became king, he followed in his father’s footsteps allowing Protestants to continue practicing freely. After his unexpected death, Mary, who was a committed Catholic, ascended the throne. Turning England back into a Catholic country, she obtained the name “Bloody Mary” due to her unkind acts of killing those who did not practice Catholicism. During her four year reign, men and women of all ages were burned at stake for being Protestant. After the passing of Mary, Elizabeth I took the throne bringing the country to a Protestant ground, which they called Church of England. This common ground was set by Elizabeth’s father. The movie Elizabeth expresses the idea that religion causes conflict in all aspects of life. Elizabeth begins with a gruesome, stomach-turning scene in which three bold Protestants are burned at stake by the order of the Catholic Queen Mary (Kathy Burke). The public display of these three Protestants, who were dressed in white ragged clothing and had just been scalped. Those who did not follow Catholicism were burned alive. Catholics believed in transubstantiation, which is when the Eucharist becomes the body and blood of Christ and reflects the supremacy of the Pope. Protestants believed that transubstantiation was more of a symbolic act, and that they definitely denied the pope’s supremacy. Without freedom of religion in the 1500’s, a miniscule change in religious beliefs and Christian denominations caused turmoil in the country. Living in a time p... ... middle of paper ... ...werful nation, she became one of the most notable figures in history. Although at the beginning of her reign religion caused much conflict, as shown in the movie, through her reign the Church of England stabilized. Success for Elizabeth rides on the acting talent, in which the actors and actresses delivered splendidly. Looking at the scene where Elizabeth is placed in front of Catholic and Protestant Bishops, the acting truly comes out in each and every character. This somewhat comical, but serious scene plays the biggest part in the movie. Cate Blanchett has the unenviable task of playing one of the most important people in history, but she comes through in flying colors. Joseph Fiennes, playing the role of her forsaken lover, woos the audience through his huge brown eyes. The supporting actors all did a job well done. Bringing a different visual style to the screen, Shekhar Kapur made everything in the film so striking. Putting his viewer on edge a bit with some camera angles and use of color, he draws the viewer’s attention in more and more. Bringing the 1500’s into a modern day perspective could not be any better than how Shekar Kapur created it.

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