Warrior Queen (2003)

Reviewer: Anna T.
 
AD 60, Britain.
 
The film opens with a meeting in the tribal meetinghouse. Dervalloc, a great warrior has come to present his plunder a collection of severed heads to the king Prasutagus who accepts the homage gladly. Another victory over a rivaling tribe is always something to celebrate. His queen Boudica in the heat of the moment kisses him passionately as their people and two beautiful daughters look on. A savage life yes, but a happy one for the Iceni people. Until the Romans arrive. One of Boudica's daughters and her lover are playfully sword fighting when a legion of Roman soldiers come upon them. Curious and amused over their behavior they remark that these savages fight even for play, but that Rome will crush them. Much to their displeasure a pack of Iceni children attack them with sticks and stones further up the trail perhaps these people will not be so easily conquered.
 
The Romans are beguiling, sweet-talking, promising many things when they meet with the Icenis tribe, persuading Boudica's war-weary husband to sign a treaty of friendship. Many are displeased with the kings lost desire to fight. Especially Dervalloc, who by the whispers of Druid Magior has been encouraged to challenge Prasutagus and take Boudica as his own. Unsettled by Magiors foretelling of the future, Dervalloc leaves the Iceni promising to come back if something goes wrong. The Iceni are protected from the other warring tribes but there is a price tag that they find out soon enough. Slaves must be chosen to be sent to Rome to serve in the Circus in the brothels and as laborers. When Prasutagus refuses the Romans relent for a time. After his daughter challenges him about the treaty, Prasutagus slaps her in a moment of fury and then abruptly collapses. He is dying. Boudica calls for Magior and he gives him a potion, soon the king is dead. Brokenhearted but strong, Boudica goes on. Prasutagus body is burned on a pyre and Boudica assumes the throne as Queen.
 
Soon after several girls gathering food outside the village are kidnapped by the Romans. Boudicca takes several of her warriors and her daughters to demand the return of the girls. Stunned she finds out that her husband had given half of the king-ship to the Romans and she is no longer Queen. Still she proclaims her royalty and demands justice be done. In return for her words, they take them all captive. Her warriors slaughtered. Boudica whipped and her daughters raped. The next morning, they are free to walk home. The Romans laugh, thinking, that a woman who has half a brain can be no match for them. Boudica is now bent on revenge, for hurting her daughters and killing her warriors they will go to war with this brutal empire that has threatened the very life of the Iceni people.
 
Heart wrenching, courageous and brutal are the words to describe this film. Queen Boudica is admirable to a point, in her steadfastness to her husband, courage to defend her people and will to go on. The ending is odd, but given the fact that the film-makers didn't have a great deal of detail on Boudica's life beyond what she did as a warrior, I felt they added and filled in the story very well except for the end. Historically Boudica commits suicide after the last battle with the Romans is lost in the film, they kind of just leave you thinking she was killed with everyone else. This is not a lush film, not something to be watched lightly or for fun. But I did enjoy and like it to a point. It is brutal, heartbreaking, yet a mostly faithful account of the true story of the Warrior Queen who stood up against Rome.
  

 

Sexual Content:

Boudica's daughters are raped very brutally (no apparent nudity, but it's obvious what is happening). Boudica and Dervalloc kiss passionately and fall onto bed, and in the darkness that (mercifully) shrouds them they are seen in silhouette undressing hurriedly and kissing on top of each other. As the sun rises we find them in bed. Boudica kissing his chest many times as he tells her the Romans will not take this first defeat lightly. Many passionate kisses are seen between Boudica and Dervalloc, as well as Nero and his lady. Brief backside nudity in Nero's palace.

    

Language:

Several profanities.

  

Violence:

There's a lot of brutal and sometimes bloody violence, heads are seen decapitated, bloody and are paraded around. Children stab a man to death and proudly show off his bloody head. Many scenes of violent and bloody war, main characters are killed.  Boudica is whipped while her daughters are raped. Several main characters are killed on-screen.

 

Other:

The Druid religion is seen in act several times. Boudica has Druids and they perform various somewhat disturbing ceremonies. One, the priest symbolically removed the seed of the enemy from Boudica's daughters by pushing their heads around and then doubling them over only to remove seeds of some sort when thrown into the water bubble and fizz and he then removes a sword from the water as well. Quite creepy, but that is what they believed. Nero calls the Iceni worse than the bloody Christians.' The Druid Magior sees the future many times.


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