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This article was first published 10 years ago  » Movies » Review: Grace of Monaco doesn't make much sense

Review: Grace of Monaco doesn't make much sense

By Paloma Sharma
Last updated on: June 13, 2014 19:56 IST
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Nicole Kidman in Grace of MonacoGrace of Monaco is a shoddily written film, says Paloma Sharma.

Once upon a time, Hollywood's loveliest leading lady Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman), left behind her way of life to marry Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (Tim Roth) and play (as it is pointed out more than once in the film) the role of a lifetime.

Years pass. They have children. But all is not well in the Palace of Monaco.

The country is in debt, France wants to annex it and the Prince and the Princess' marriage is sailing through troubled waters.

Meanwhile, Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton -- Griffiths) pays Grace a visit and offers her a million dollars to come back to Hollywood.

Grace struggles to balance her urge to return to acting and her duties as a wife, Mother and Princess, as the world around her comes crashing down.

Grace of Monaco has a lot to say, but little of it makes sense.

The film clearly revels in its decadence, but its inability to provide adequate, important pieces of information renders it to the status of a leisurely visual exercise.

Grace of Monaco is less of a biographical film, even lesser of a story of love. The film primarily centres around a political struggle between Rainier III and French President Charles de Gaulle, and how Grace helps subvert the crisis.

The camera tends to zoom suffocatingly close to Kidman's face, as she tries to charm it but without much luck. Kidman's emotions often look fake and monotonous -- but I wouldn't hold that against her since it obviously seems to be due to a lack of direction.

Tim Roth suffers from the same.

It's sad that the Lie to Me star was reduced to nothing more than a chain-smoking monarch with little personality and too much aggression.

While I do understand that he portrayed a real person, something killed Roth's screen presence; and I'm guessing it wasn't the stuffy suit.

Shoddily written and equally shoddily edited, Grace of Monaco starts abruptly, gives minimal back story to its characters (in a biography, that too) and fails to connect one scene with another.

There are gaps that the viewer is somehow magically supposed to fill.

The visuals are beautiful, no doubt, and a soothing piano plays in the background for a majority of the film, but when you ask what the point of the film is, you receive no answer.

Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco is too obsessed with being a fairytale to really become anything more than a pretty sheet of shiny wrapping paper twisted around a piece of wood-hard, flavourless candy.

It is as beautiful as its subject, but amounts to be little else.

Rediff Rating: 

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Paloma Sharma in Mumbai