27 September 2023

Margrete: Queen of the North

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Charlotte Sieling, Palace Films.
Country of Origin: Denmark, Language: Danish.

Based on remarkable true events experienced by Queen Margrete the First of Denmark, an all-star ensemble cast comes together in this impressive new historical drama by leading Danish director Charlotte Sieling (The Bridge, Borgen, Homeland).

The year is 1402. Queen Margrete ― ruling through her adopted son, Erik (Morten Hee Andersen) ― has been successful in uniting Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Having founded the Kalmar Union, there’s peace in a region hitherto wracked by constant warfare.

However, a conspiracy is in the making and Margrete finds herself facing an incredible dilemma that could shatter her life’s work. Despite her achievement, the alliance is insecure with the Nordic union surrounded by enemies. So, to secure the territory’s future, Margrete’s plan is to broker a marriage between Erik and English Princess Philippa.

What Margrete is not anticipating is a conspiracy within her own ranks, and when a mysterious man (Jakob Oftebro) presents himself at the palace, professing to be her long dead biological son, she faces a quandary, one that threatens everything she’s worked for.

Margrete is played by Trine Dryholm (Festen, Love Is All You Need), who gives a mesmeric performance. It is an absorbing tale of a ruler’s internal battle between public responsibility and personal feelings.

A powerful medieval costume drama production, Sieling handles the material with reverence for her country’s history. It’s mounted in a spectacular fashion, beautifully recreating the stunning medieval setting to generate an immensely compelling story about a woman who is well ahead of her time.

This commanding tale of royal intrigue, disloyalty and power games is the largest and most expensive production in Danish film history.

  • Margrete: Queen of the North opens in cinemas on 24 November

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