I was truly fascinated, moved and harrowed by the heart-wrenching story of Anne Boleyn in "The Tudors" and it was solely because of the exquisitely intricate performance delivered by Natalie Dormer who became my most favorite actress from that point forward. Anne Boleyn was for the most part misunderstood and misrepresented in history, and the series initially was headed towards the "femme fatale" direction for her as well. As insightful and amazing as she is, it was Natalie who requested the writer and her good friend, Michael Hirst, to delve into and convey herstory as opposed to history because she wanted to do right by this remarkable and vibrant women that she was embodying and had read so much about.
There is a general consensus that Dormer's portrayal is possibly the best and fully fleshed out Anne Boleyn there is (and for me, ever will be). So, I wanted to encapsulate Anne's life journey and tell her story in an aesthetic and symbolic way from the content of the show by highlighting the prominent scenes and dialogues, primarily with the use of voice-overs along with the music. When I'd heard "Kiara" by Bonobo for the very first time, it instantly made me think of Anne and ponder upon some of the amazing sequences in the "The Tudors" (little Anne in her father's arms, Anne running from Henry. etc) which inspired the inception of this video and eventually became the complete backdrop to capturing her entire journey. Hence, the title: Odyssey.
It began with Anne's own father using her as a pawn to feed his greed for the royal life. She had to pursue Henry VIII (who was still married to Catherine of Aragon) and be the object of his affection for which she had no say or interest in initially. But it wasn't long before she fell truly and deeply in love with Henry who had went out of his way in his long pursuit to win over her heart with his glorious gifts and love letters. Anne refused to be his mistress and wanted to be recognized as his true wedded wife only after he would divorce from Catherine. They courted for 7 years before they consummated their relationship and married shortly after. It was the love affair of the 16th century - a true romance of pure passion for the history books. However, Henry's obsession with having a son for an heir took a toll on Anne when she had Elizabeth I which was devastatingly followed by 2 miscarriages. Anne was always too forthright and fierce to be tamed by Henry. His once true love had veered towards grave resentment for her when she couldn't deliver a son, and apart from his wandering lust and numerous mistresses, it was what ultimately tore their relationship apart. Tragically enough, Anne's reign as Queen lasted only 3 years when she was charged with false allegations of adultery, incest and treason against the monster of a King that Henry VIII had become. Anne Boleyn was wrongfully executed at the young age of 35, and even at the edge of death she only spoke well of the King in her last words.
A lot of ignorant people to this day tend to scrutinize and almost dehumanize Anne Boleyn by labeling her as simply the "mistress", "manipulator", "minx", etc. They fail to empathize or even acknowledge her position. She was not some polarized female character that one can categorically trap in a box. She was a real person who had to make the best of her circumstances with the cards that she was dealt in her life. Anne was a strong, beautiful, witty, well-educated, compassionate and feisty woman well ahead of her time, an evangelical of the reformation who had great insights and took interest in politics. As stated by Natalie Dormer in Susan Bordo's book, "The Creation of Anne Boleyn": "Anne really influenced the world, behind closed doors. But she's given no explicit credit because she wasn't protected. Let's not forget, too, that history was written by men. And even now, in our post-feminist era we still have women struggle in public positions of power."
On that great note, I realize I ended up writing an essay while composing a brief description. But I just needed to get it all out of my system. Deep love and respect for Anne Boleyn, needless to say, Natalie Dormer.
"Prelude" & "Kiara" by Bonobo
*~This is a purely fan-made attribution directed towards entertainment purposes only. I do not own the content of this video neither am I affiliated with it in any way. All of the content belongs to their respective copyright holders~*