Friday, October 03, 2008

big girls don't cry

There's a lot more to the plot of "The Duchess" but I couldn't help but be reminded of TV's most famous blended family. Feel free to sing along: Here's the story of a lovely Duchess, who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them were not male heirs, like their mother, the eldest wasn't even hers. Here's the story of a lovely Lady, busy with three boys of her own. They got separated, thanks to the father, which we cannot condone. Till the one day when this Lady met this Duchess and they became fast friends from the start. Then the Duke got busy with the Lady and they truly broke the skinny Duchess' heart.

Keira Knightley plays the Duchess of Devonshire, a character more than a little like her descendant, the late Princess Diana. Her husband is older and only wants her to produce a male heir. Somehow it's okay for him to have mistresses but not for her to be with her true love. The Duchess becomes hugely popular for her sense of fashion. She uses her fame to help political causes that she supports. Throughout the movie, the Duchess bears four children and never retains an ounce of baby weight after each pregnancy.

During a party scene and a theater scene, artists drew pictures of the Duchess and those around her. At one point they captured an image of an unhappy Duke watching his marriage being satirized in the play "The School for Scandal." I imagined the Duke to be cursing the dreaded sketch-arazzi.

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