Justifying A ROYAL AFFAIR

Alicia Vikander plays Queen Caroline Mathilde in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Alicia Vikander plays Queen Caroline Mathilde in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

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Written by

Jude Bautista

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) didn’t bother to wear a costume or even a mask at the much-awaited royal masquerade ball. It wasn’t something that interested him, but he knew he’d see her there. Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) captivated him in a way that no one else has. They shared a love for the philosophers and thinkers of the era. Her youthful countenance came alive whenever she’d see him. She couldn’t help but tease, “Your costume it’s not very imaginative.” The dance was the only physical contact they’ve had since meeting. Their hands touching, their faces, lips inches away.  At the end of the dance, Johann literally ran away from her trying to control passions ignited within.

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) dance in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) dance in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

from left: Italian Amb. Massimo Roscigno, FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos, Shangri La Plaza Mall GM and EVP Lala Fojas and EU Head of Political and Press Information Lubomir Frebort attended Cine Europa 16 opening film A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Italian Amb. Massimo Roscigno, FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos, Shangri La Plaza Mall GM and EVP Lala Fojas and EU Head of Political and Press Information Lubomir Frebort attended Cine Europa 16 opening film A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

A ROYAL AFFAIR of Denmark is just one of 21 films you can catch for free at Cine Europa 16 in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. The film fest will run from September 5 to 14 at the Shang Cineplex Premiere Theaters and proceed to Cinematheque Baguio City (September 17-22 ), Cinematheque Iloilo City (September 23 -29), Ayala Center, Cebu City (October 4 -6), Liceo de Cagayan University (October 10-13) and  Cinematheque Davao City (October 15-20).

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) steals a kiss from Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) steals a kiss from Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) photo from from official facebook site https://www.facebook.com/ARoyalAffairMovie. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) photo from from official facebook site https://www.facebook.com/ARoyalAffairMovie. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Mads Mikkelsen as Dr Struensee is the biggest talent from Denmark, having starred as the 007 villain Le Chiffre in CASINO ROYALE (2006) and CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010). Now he is the lead star in the hit TV series HANNIBAL, shown in the Philippines through AXN. Queen Caroline Mathilde played by Alicia Vikander, started her acting career very young in Sweden but is most recently seen in the critically acclaimed ANNA KARENINA, starring Keira Knightley, which was shown exclusively in Resort’s World Manila, Eastwood Mall and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Etta Rosales and EU Political Counselor Julian Vassalo attended Cine Europa 16 opening film A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Etta Rosales and EU Political Counselor Julian Vassalo attended Cine Europa 16 opening film A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) dance in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) dance in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

On the surface A ROYAL AFFAIR seems to be similar with ANNA KARENINA concerning extramarital relationships by the aristocracy.  In reality they’re worlds apart. A ROYAL AFFAIR is far more politicized, while ANNA KARENINA is very visual, dealt with the personal tragedy of a scandalous affair, here the stakes are higher. Their relationship influenced how a nation was ruled and in some respects influenced the whole of Europe.

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013

Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013

For any viewer who appreciates history, the decadence of the 18th century monarchs, ROYAL AFFAIR is a must see. The film is a great insight as how a romance was able to change people’s way of thinking in politics and philosophy.

It was a meeting of the minds between Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

It was a meeting of the minds between Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Johann Friedrich Struensee was not particularly charming or good looking. He was an intellectual who wanted to contribute to society. As a doctor he devoted himself to caring for needy patients. Appointed as the King’s physician he became more like a glorified home boy (barkada). He was the ultimate wingman. Everything changed when he met her. Theirs was more a meeting of the minds.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) and wing man Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) and wing man Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

The Age of Enlightenment bore the greatest political thinkers of Europe. Centuries of suffering in a feudalistic society made these minds search for a more just and equitable form of government. A vast majority of people lived in poverty and servitude to royalty and the noble class. “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains.” Queen Mathilde quotes Jean Jacques Rousseau to Johann, they also both admired Voltaire and Locke.

Poverty and servitude was prevalent in a feudalist, monarchial system, 1760s Europe in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Poverty and servitude was prevalent in a feudalist, monarchial system, 1760s Europe in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

The mere possession of these books was considered an act of treason in 1737. Not just in Denmark but most of Europe, which were ruled by monarchs. Johann under a pseudonym had written and published his thoughts on political reform, freeing the serfs from a lifetime of what we now define as slavery. He sent these papers to the Queen as a love letter tied with a red bow.

Alicia Vikander plays Queen Caroline Mathilde in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Alicia Vikander plays Queen Caroline Mathilde in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Christian VII played by Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, was touted to be a Mad King although he was never despotic. By modern standards he could easily be diagnosed with several and fairly common disorders such as bi-polar, Asperger’s syndrome. Mostly Christian could also be perceived as any young royal of today. He’s just out to have a good time, skirting his official responsibilities of governing by touring Europe, going to the Opera and theater. He was also known to frequent brothels and get drunk in dinners and parties.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) was known to frequent brothels and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) was known to frequent brothels and Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Queen Mathilde was educated in England, fluent in German, French, English and Danish. She’s an accomplished pianist and singer. Their marriage however was more out of filial duty than any common bond or romance. One could also make the argument that the King was far closer and had a deeper relationship with Dr. Strunsee because of their shared admiration for Shakespeare. Johann had this ability of controlling the King’s unreasonable or ‘mad’ behavior not by admonishing but through reverse psychology and simply by being a real friend to him.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) and wing man Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

from left: Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) and wing man Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

From right: both Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) fell for German physician Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

From right: both Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) and Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) fell for German physician Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Johann’s bond and closeness with the King is the opportunity that Queen Mathilde suggested they use to institute real reforms in changing people’s lives for the better. Denmark became the light of Europe in having a more just and equitable society. Voltaire himself, wrote to the King in admiration for the reforms they have made. Both the King and Queen fell in love with this seemingly plain doctor from Germany. With nobility eschewing reform, their love can easily turn to scandal and pain.

People are manipulated into an uprising in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

People are manipulated into an uprising in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Photo from http://aroyalaffairthemovie.com/uk. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) steals a kiss from Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) steals a kiss from Queen Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013.

DOMÉ at ground floor of Shangri La Plaza mall, was the site of our post ROYAL AFFAIR drinks. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

DOMÉ at ground floor of Shangri La Plaza mall, was the site of our post ROYAL AFFAIR drinks. Catch European films for free during Cine Europa at Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza mall from Sept 5-14, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

DOMÉ at the ground floor of Shangri La Plaza mall, was the site of our post ROYAL AFFAIR drinks. From left: Cyril Ver Constantino, Japan Foundation Proj Coordinator Roland Samson,  Cultural writer Adrian Lontoc, French Press Attaché Camille Eva Marie Conde, Writer Photographer Jude Bautista and Classical Music and film reviewer Ibarra Mateo.

DOMÉ at the ground floor of Shangri La Plaza mall, was the site of our post ROYAL AFFAIR drinks. From left: Cyril Ver Constantino, Japan Foundation Proj Coordinator Roland Samson, Cultural writer Adrian Lontoc, French Press Attaché Camille Eva Marie Conde, Writer Photographer Jude Bautista and Classical Music and film reviewer Ibarra Mateo.

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