This a delayed reaction. All of you have seen it and are reading this just to savour it again. Be that as it may, I am now in it and raving. Netflix’ the Crown, is a success. For the rare person who avoided it especially because everyone went on and on about it, go for it during this lockdown. I tried to get addicted when Clare Foy was the Queen. Soon, I dropped off. Also, it was not Covid times then. You did not have to stay at home. Also, something about Clare Foy. Loved her as Dickens’ Little Dorritt and Girl in Spider’s Web but not as the Queen.
Then, I hopped back on after being harassed about it by family members. By then, Olivia Coleman was the Queen. It was/is electric. All of a sudden, it was every person’s family-the misfits, the grudges, the non attuned twangs of a family who has it all but is really like many of us-lost and struggling.
Helena Bonham Carter’s Princess Margaret was splendid -full of the flaws and flourishes of an interesting person who becomes unhappy despite herself, juxtaposed with her sister, the Queen, who could not be interesting, even if she wanted to, but knows what happiness is about. They struggle, break their hearts, hope not to be left out in the cold, not be wilfully misunderstood, stiff infront of a crowd and chewing their lower lips in doubt, like all of us.
The subtle and powerful workings of how uninteresting but stalwart people bring something to the party while the interesting ones become fragile and lonely, is beautifully shown here.
The series has Diana, Charles and Camilla of course, and seemed to raise the curtain on the ‘real thing’, or so it felt. So well portrayed are they-one can see why they would all take up the positions they did in the unfolding story. Each one of us ends up secretly knowing why they do what they do..well.
Then, there are the ones with the various PMs- Wilson, played by Jason Watkins. The episode where the Welsh mining tragedy takes place and the Queen fights to find her own tears is a great feat of talent. What a performance!
Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher. Did you know that Mrs. Thatcher ironed her husband’s shirts and saw to it that they always shared the same bed ? ‘Those who sleep apart grow apart?’ is what she seemed to have said. Not to mention getting a peek into the events at Balmoral Castle with Mrs. Thatcher unable to play those drawing room games and having this majestic encounter for many episodes as she represented working class vs the royals. These stand offs between the Queen and the working class PMs are the best television can offer. If you are sold on this, do finish the washing and other jobs because you will not be getting up in a hurry once it begins.