The three souls of Elisabetta, history lessons (but on TV)

The Netflix period drama, created by Peter Morgan, former screenwriter of The Queen, begins with the marriage of Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947, and the second inauguration as prime minister of Winston Churchill who had just said on the radio: A time of prosperity it awaits us because history teaches that ruled by our queens we have always been capable of extraordinary feats. It then continues with the death of King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, and his subsequent coronation, which took place in 1953. In the other two seasons, the narrative of events includes the mandates as prime minister of Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan and the Profumo scandal, until March 1964, the year of the birth of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Elizabeth and Philip.

A vivid history lesson

The tale of the Queen (Claire Foy, seasons 1-2) and the British Royal Family is a vivid history lesson, with no twists and turns, but without losing attention. As if the psychologies of the characters were just as decisive as historical events. Elizabeth is above all the perfect embodiment of royal power, every gesture of hers has a sacred function. In the eyes of the British (and the spectators) what the sovereign matters, but what he represents is much more important. The great impression The Crown makes depends in large part on the respect that series creator Peter Morgan has for the Crown. Like every Englishman, moreover, he shows himself to be very attached to his own monarchical traditions, to that unattainable, untouchable world of fairy tales and national pride.

The third season of the series

Fortunately for us, Morgan’s respect translates into a writing that leaves no stone unturned, in a narrative that respects both history and stories. Age is not lenient with anyone. You can’t do anything about it, you can only go on. a Queen Elizabeth even more hardened by time, responsibilities and losses to open the third, solemn season of The Crown. a season of transition, which clashes with the difficult task of recounting a lesser known and characterized period of English history. We are still one step closer to contemporaneity, leaving behind the founding years of Winston Churchill – my guardian angel defines her as the Queen – which also coincide with those of Elizabeth II’s Bildungsroman, but the series takes a breather before relaxing until the Tatcher era and the glamorous and tumultuous years of Lady D, which will be the subject of next season.

Radical change of cast

The radical change of cast, decided to make the aging of the characters credible, contributes to the different flavor of these new episodes and says a lot about the ambition and complexity of The Crown project. Olivia Colman (season 3), in the role of Elizabeth, gives life to a more sorrowful queen, whipped by a wind of change that she cannot always understand, still convinced that she can govern it by anchoring itself to the immobility of centenary traditions. The rise of Labor confronts her with a prime minister suspected of being in contact with the Soviets and the relationship is all uphill, played on languages ​​and worldviews that could not be more distant.

Why do we look at it

In addition to the titanic undertaking of telling a homeland story that, after all, does not yet belong to the past but part of our present, The Crown’s effort, all aimed at representing Elizabeth in her three different souls as a woman, head of state, and executor of a supernatural project (anointed with sacred oil). A game of writing and expressive subtleties of the cast. As Dario Ronzoni wrote, all in the nature of “The Crown”, a series that does not actually follow the rules of the TV series: no one watches it to know how the story will end. Everyone follows her to see how she is represented. In the age of selfies, the equivalent of waiting for the development of a camera roll. Only after days, even weeks, will you be able to see how it was at the time of the shot. And recognize yourself.

23 August 2020 (change 23 August 2020 | 22:24)

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