17/11/2010

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING - THE DEVIL'S WHORE (2008)



It's actually rare to find a costume drama set in the 17th century. The only good one I can remember, which I also reviewed on this blog, is  Gunpowder, Treason and Plot dealing with the Gunpowder Plot (1605) against James I . The Devil's Whore, which I watched at the weekend,  is an extremely-engaging and well-acted 4-part drama about the period 1642-1660 covering the English Civil War and the subsequent execution of King Charles I and his replacement with England's only republican government. Don't expect to learn or understand more about that complicated historical period but for once drama faced not an easy task and chose differently for its time setting.


The Devil’s Whore, is full of wild storms, furious winds and camera angles so eccentric they make it look like chaos has come to Earth. its talented director, Marc Munden ,  tries  to conjure a sense of impending apocalypse. It is s a tale set in the English Civil War about a fictional woman, Angelica Fanshawe, and  how her life intersects with the real events and  key figures of the time, including Charles I ( the beheaded  Stuart King) and Oliver Cromwell

  
To many who witnessed this period in British history, apocalyptic was just how it felt. In the 1640s fighting engulfed the country and the rule of  law collapsed: it was the end of the world as people knew it. 
The speed with which the plot unfurled is, at times, bewildering. I was completely taken away by the quick pace and gripping narration of the events.  Kudos to Peter Flannery, the scriptwriter,  for making this period of history really interesting. This difficult period, as I wrote in the opening,  has never really been covered in movies or TV.


Peter Capaldi is great as a doomed king, Michael Fassbender is intense and stunning as Rainsborough,  Dominic West magnetic as Oliver Cromwell, but my favourites are John Simm and Andrea Riseborough. Both act intensely and make me want to keep watching and get quickly to their next meeting. The chemistry, sparring and respect between Sexby and Angelica is fascinating! Almost perfect...



The Devil's Whore was broadcast on Channel 4 in 2008. The initial critical reception was good, though there has been some criticism of the omission of some figures and events (such as John Pym, the Earl of Bedford, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Sir Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, Pride's Purge, Colonel Sir John Hutchinson and the Bishops' Wars) and the fictionalisation of others (such as the suggestion that Cromwell orchestrated Rainsborough's death, of Rainsborough not Sexby being a close friend of Cromwell's, and Sexby's assassination attempt on Cromwell).

The series is still available to be watched online on Channel 4 site (but only to UK watchers).  It is also available on DVD at Amazon.co.uk. More information about the cast  and the series at  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1050057/.



9 comments:

Ruth said...

Never heard of this one, sounds great! I love the "out-of-the-norm" time period/setting too!

Audra said...

This looks *gorgeous*!

Mystica said...

Looks good. Hadn't heard of this one either.

tyme_4_t said...

I had to really look closely to see John Simm! I am so used to seeing him with short hair as Sam Tyler from LoM.

MG...knowing that you are true [spooks] fan here is great clip of RPJ presenting an award to The Devils Whore...Rupert is quite funny presenting the award and then it does show a clip of the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4My_LqErmZM

I had forgotten about this one...adding to my list...

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@tyme_4_t
Thanks a lot! I really appreciate your suggestion. RPJ presenting an award ...let's compare him to someone else we have often watched presenting Baftas... Yes! I am a true Spooks fan. I have never missed an episode and love Adam Carter too!
Off to see the clip. Cheers! MG

Debs said...

This was so good, I loved it and can see why you'd enjoy it so much too.

maribea said...

What an endless source for period drama you are!!! I can't wait until i look this one, too!!

Judy said...

I liked this series a lot too and enjoyed your review, MG - there has been talk of a sequel, but it usually takes Peter Flannery years to bring a drama to the screen, so we may have a long wait!

SOULTECH said...

> got across this blog ad bcoz of TDW, glad i!