Queen of the Desert (2015) is a English,Arabic,Turkish,French movie. Werner Herzog has directed this movie. Nicole Kidman,James Franco,Robert Pattinson,Damian Lewis are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. Queen of the Desert (2015) is considered one of the best Adventure,Biography,Drama,History,Romance movie in India and around the world.
A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
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Queen of the Desert breaks form with several other Herzog movies: A female lead character, a grand Hollywood-like production and most interesting: a different perspective on the culture-nature dichotomy and the effects of cultural distance that almost forms the core of Herzog's work. It tells the story of Gertrude Bell (Kidman), an English writer and traveler who became more and more influential in the Middle East region through her unprecedented travels where she formed bonds with several future postcolonial leaders. Later in life she became involved in politics and helped to found several nation states (and determine its borders), along which Jordan and Iraq through the Hashemite dynasties. She worked in close cooperation with T.E. Lawrence (Pattison). It is always interesting to see what's left out of the story: her efforts to establish the new countries were far more extreme and tiresome (plus the real reason Iraq was founded: cost-cutting by the British Empire), her witnessing of the Armenian genocide and slave trade, her actual spying role, her relative poverty, illness and depression later in life. What is paid attention to elaborately are her love interests (well played by Franco and Lewis), both ending in tragedy. But too much are we watching a watered-down, Hollywood interpretation of Bell by Kidman and not the real strong and intelligent woman she obviously had to be handling the complexities of deal making in the region. Yet some typical trademarks of Herzog still shine through: travel to unknown, unmapped places where people find their cultural beliefs and visions on reality tested. In Herzog's world, venturing into nature from the cultural boundaries of existence always leads to suffering and destruction, mankind being unable to conquer the forces of nature. What makes this movie then atypical in the work of Herzog is that Bell finds solace and fulfillment through that process. Also atypical is the time we spent inside: these scenes inside the bastions of power are unfortunately not the best in the movie, and in the landscape scenes, Herzog seems much more on his turf. Herzog always saw himself as resisting the banality of the images film is projecting, but here he somewhat contributes to that process. Despite that Queen of the Desert is still very watchable, informative and yes, even entertaining.
Gertrude Bell is one of the most remarkable people (of either sex) to have ever lived...but you wouldn't know it from this film. Archaeologist, mountain climber, poet, translator, linguist, explorer, diplomat, spy, (to name just a handful of her many accomplishments) and all in a time in which women were virtually prohibited from doing any of those things, for the most part, and in territories that even men of the time feared to tread. In addition to being the world's expert on both Sunni and Shiite relations before, during and after WWII, she was charged with drawing up the boundaries for modern day Iraq. She was respected, admired and desired. But, since she was female, it took nearly a decade to green light a movie on her life and then some man decides to make her life story an epic "romance" and, of course, make the MEN in her life central to her story. How heartbreaking that her story was so terribly contrived to conform to Hollywood's stereotypes about women and women's lives. And how more tragic that this film could not even find a U.S. distributer as of this writing. This is why we live in a world that thinks women make little to no contributions to history. We rarely tell their stories and when we do, we stuff the round peg of a remarkable life into the square hole of Hollywood sexist tropes, believing no one wants to see a film with a female protagonist unless she's spending at least half the movie pining over some man in order to feel whole. While the movie does cover many of her remarkable accomplishments, my beef with the film is the need to weigh her story down with overly melodramatic, poorly written scenes of tragic love instead of celebrating a superlative life of unique and notable triumphs. I wanted to see more on her travels, her discoveries, her diplomacy, her efforts during the war. Just gender flip this film (although it would be hard to find a man of history as accomplished in multiple fields as she was) and you'll see how ridiculous is the script's focus on what was only one facet of the brilliant gem that was Gertrude Bell. I urge anyone interested in history to read about this woman's life. Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, by Janet Wallach is a great biography. Hollywood has perfected the fine art of trivializing and "romanticizing" women's history...yet again.
Although it's not Lawrence of Arabia, and Robert Pattinson suffers from O'Toole comparison, director Werner Herzog still brings to life the hitherto little-known heroine, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). Her exploits at the beginning of the 20th century helped cast a favorite light on Bedouins and Druses as she moved among them and helped negotiate the end-of-WWI land split in Arabia and environs. Herzog will have to suffer my criticism that remembers his crazed but magnetic wild men like Aguirre and Fitzcaraldo. Queen lacks the energy in his many stories of madmen like Aguirre. Here, while Nicole appears aristocratic and smart, she never rises above the thoughtful scholar or emerging anthropologist. Alas, too much is the time spent with the two loves of her life and not enough time among the tribes and diplomats she had to corral to get her inside unknown territory. Why must women in movies still be defined by the men they love? Herzog is not at his best with virtually half the film watching her dance around the Tehran Embassy diplomat, Henry Cadogan (James Franco), and the British officer, Charles Doughty-Wylie (Damian Lewis). Herzog misses the more romantic possibilities of her involvement in the war effort in favor of two not very interesting romances. That her loves tend toward their suicide hints at the powerful woman who could have sparked these annihilations. Kidman, a fine actress who gives a nuanced performance here, is mostly directed to play coy more than adventuresome.
Obviously the director of this movie does not understand the context of the middle east and he is taking this part of the world as a bulk and treating it as a whole. When in Tehran they speak Arabic, Tehran is in Iran they speak Farisi not Arabic, when in the market one guy is obviously Moroccan while the movie is narrating a middle eastern story (Amman Jordan) different dialect, and the Beddouin music always starting with Allah W Akbar which is a religious chant not necessarily specific to the middle east where you can find Christians, Kurds and a lot more ethnicity. To make long story short the director reflected his understanding of the ME based on orientalist concepts and not real facts.
I believe that Queen of The Desert is greater than the sum of its parts, and that its parts are inspired to begin with. So many things about this film are beyond beautiful, they are sublime. I watched it twice. I don't know if Werner Herzog wanted to make a Hollywood-style period romance, and it doesn't matter to me whether anyone else thinks he achieved creating one or not. The film isn't about a romance, it's about romance, period. Specifically, the romance that can find itself at the center of someone's life. Herzog told a story in which Bell had multiple romantic relationships that weren't just with people. In this way he gave her character a deep spiritual life. She had a fling with poetry and writing, an affair with the desert, passion for traveling, true love with multiple men, and loving friendships. In addition, every main character is shown to be loving in some way. I like TE Lawrence's character (played delightfully by Robert Pattinson) because he tries like mad to avoid romance, but also seems to be feigning his aversion. In QOTD, many characters risk their lives for love, and some do give their lives. It isn't just one or two main characters, and it isn't just for the love of another person. Near the end of QOTD, a bedouin leader asks Bell why she loves them (Arabs) so much. By her answer, which is a tribute to her trusted guide Fattuh, we understand what she's all about, and what this film is all about. It's beautifully written dialogue by Herzog. One of my very favourite things about this film was the number of times Kidman was shown laughing. There is hardly a character in the film with whom she isn't seen sharing a good laugh. The film isn't funny, and Bell wasn't meant to be comedic. And yet there is this frequent laughter. That's joy. There's joy in this film. This is what has made Queen of The Desert one of my favourite movies of all time. I enjoyed the "dreaminess" of the film. In no way was it psychedelic or self-referential (done for effect). It was written into Gertrude Bell's character. This was a wonderful artistic choice. Random things I loved: The references to poetry and literature. The loud camels nearly ruining the grand orchestral score. The steampunk-ish pistols in the case. James Franco flirting like only James Franco can. The snow in the desert! No subtitles. And most of all, the use of a good number of truly great actors from around the world who are of Arab descent. Some favourite moments: the close-up on Bell when she and Cadogan hold hands for the first time. When Doughty-Wylie kisses her for the first time and her reaction is shown at length (such complex acting from Kidman and Lewis here, especially Kidman). The hand-held camera at the desert camp. The pain of the young Arab messenger as he confesses to Bell, "I would give anything for a woman like you," knowing he would never see her again but for that moment. The Shiek of the Druze talking Virgil. Anytime a filmmaker is both writer and director, like Herzog is here, there will be a divergence from the tropes of the genre in which his film may be expected to fit. Hopefully the audience will buy in to his vision. I did wholeheartedly.