Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Instant movie for the weekend: The Devil's Mistress/The Devil's Whore (2008 miniseries)

This 2008 TV miniseries covers parts of the English Civil War, using the fictional Angelica Fanshawe and historical Edward Sexby as focal points (although there is some historical basis for her character). Peter Flannery wrote the screenplay. Parts of the series are cartoonish and skip over major events, but overall I enjoyed it. I wish it had been a little longer to round things out, but that's the problem you face when trying to present both an individual's story and sweeping historical events. If you aren't familiar with the period it helps to read up on essential events to make sense of the storyline. A very enjoyable few hours, even when it veers away from historical accuracy.

The program can be watched in several places, including the original airer Channel 4 and other instant stream sites like Netflix.


Brian Joseph said...

English Civil War is a period that fascinates me so this sounds interesting. I do remember reading how the war was very hard on the lower and middle classes. Does the film touch upon that?

Dwight said...

They talk of famine in the countryside and cover many of the social movements of the times, such as the Levellers, Diggers, etc. but don't go too far beyond that as far as depicting the problems. I posted a little prematurely...I still have the last hour to watch. The writers have thrown Angelica in the middle of everything happening so I'm not ruling out anything they might include her in since there's a lot of history still to cover.

Max Cairnduff said...

I'm glad to see this reviewed, as it's a film that's been slightly on my radar but which I didn't know much about. I'm definitely looking foreward to it now. Nice frankly to see a historical drama that isn't ultimately merely reassuring, as so many British ones are (the other historical drama I'd hugely recommend is in fact one of my favourite films, Patrice Leconte's Ridicule).

Dwight said...

Thanks Max. It's not much of a review, and the movie can be soap opera-ish at times, but overall I liked it.

I remember seeing Ridicule when it was released and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll have to line it up to watch's been a while.