- Colin Fraser
MARGRETE: QUEEN OF THE NORTH
FOUR STARS Medieval Machiavellian manoeuvres could bring down the monarchy in the frozen north.
PERIOD DRAMA Denmark Danish #QUEENOFTHENORTH
Starring Trine Dyrholm, Soren Malling
If a storyline from SUCCESSION was woven into GAME OF THRONES (dragons not included), it would look a lot like this thoroughly entertaining (and hugely enjoyable) historical drama. For up in the frozen north, restless men are plotting against the monarch to install their own puppet King. The problem for Queen Margaret is that their usurper, a man insisting he is her son, might have a legitimate claim. But then again, she knows her son is dead. So who is this claimant, and if he is who he says he is, why is he alive?
In the late 1300s, Margrete united Denmark, Sweden and Norway under the command of her adopted nephew Erik, her own son having died fifteen years earlier. Peace was assured until German states sensed a weakness and began to move. While some whispered in the ear of Erik, others presented Oluf, risen from the grave to claim his throne and take command of the Union. Trust is shattered, loyalty wavers, Margrete’s grip on the Union begins to falter. Unless she acts quickly and decisively, war is inevitable.
Led by a superb cast, MARGRETE, QUEEN OF THE NORTH presents faces familiar to fans of Scandi noir. Trine Dyrholm (Queen Of Hearts) leads with conviction, ably supported by Soren Malling (Borgen), a scheming priest who spends most of his time assessing which side of the political fence he should sit. And it’s this Machiavellian manoeuvring that is the film’s great appeal; which way will these assorted characters jump as the sand shifts beneath them. Foremost is Erik, now wondering if he can finish the job his mother failed, perhaps, to do fifteen years ago.
It’s wonderful fun keeping up with the darting plot as rug after rug is pulled from beneath them (and us). Sumptuously filmed and broodingly authentic, this is politically charged medieval drama at its devious best.