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‘Margrete Queen of the North’ review: Focused historical drama

A false Olaf?

Margrete Queen of the North takes audiences back to 1402 Denmark. Margrete has united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway which she rules through her young adopted son, Erik. In order to secure the peace, Margrete plans a marriage between Erik and an English princess. However, there are those that work behind the scenes in order to undermine everything she hopes to accomplish. 

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The premise sets up the type of historical epic that audiences tend to love. There is the betrayal, scheming, and treachery that is simultaneously beyond the common folk while also grounding royalty. It also means Margrete Queen of the North is entertaining despite its flaws. 

The film looks absolutely stunning. Margrete Queen of the North is filled with gorgeous locales and settings that are befitting of the story. What really makes it stand out is how it is also able to give a true feeling of the era. Many period pieces are content to rely on time accurate backgrounds. Director Charlotte Sieling is able to effectively convey a feeling.

The story and look of the movie garner much of the attention and Margrete is certainly an interesting lead, but the supporting characters are little more than caricatures. Everyone acts exactly as expected and while there is some comfort in this, it also ensures that nothing has the emotional impact it should. The plot for Margrete Queen of the North can be charted with a straight line. 

The end result is things can get predictable, but never unwatchable. Even when people do and say things that seem straight out of a historical reenactment (Erik constantly falls into this category), Margrete Queen of the North weaves a compelling tale. Even a ponderous first act will not turn anyone away. 

Margrete Queen of the North is a historical epic that works at telling a simpler story. It has all of the machinations of a medieval drama while it weaves a tale that is about people. Those who enjoy stories of queens, false heirs, and backstabbing will be able to settle in for a good time.

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