Queen of the Desert
Theatrical release date: April 7, 2017
VOD (Video On Demand) release date: April 14, 2017
Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman, is the true story behind Gertrude Bell. Gertrude was an English writer and traveler, among many other titles. She explored, mapped, and formed strong relationships with leaders of the Middle East. Her accomplishments lead her to become highly influential to British imperial policy-making. Bell was very trusted and given a tremendous amount of power by the British, for a woman at the time. Reading even a little bit about Gertrude Bell’s life, will open your eyes to just how incredible this woman’s accomplishments are… let alone for a woman in the early 1900’s! With the help from T. E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia (Robert Pattinson), she gave support to the Hashemite dynasties, in what is known as Jordan and Iraq today.
Sadly, this movie boiled down to Bell (Nicole Kidman) dealing with the heartbreak of the men she fell for, British Officer Henry Cadogan (James Franco) and Lieutenant Colonel Charles “Richard” Doughty-Wylie (Damian Lewis).
Kidman did her best to keep Bell memorable throughout and was the main reason this movie didn’t sink further. Director Werner Herzog did a great job mesmerizing us with the panoramic shots of the desert and all of its beauty, but that was about it. Herzog had poor transitions throughout the movie, which certainly made things more difficult to follow than they could have been. The exploration portion of the movie felt empty as it seemed to just have her wandering around in the sand. The movie should have focused more on what the final 20 minutes were about, rather than the pointless relationships she made with the men she fell for. Gertrude Bell is an influential and powerful role model for women everywhere and deserved a better told story. In the end, we felt deserted from what could have been a great movie…