The 1992 historical drama film, “Shooting Elizabeth,” directed by Baz Taylor and starring Jeff Goldblum and Mimi Rogers, follows the intricate plot of a hitman hired to kill the Queen of England. With a star-studded cast and an intriguing storyline, this thriller keeps audiences on the edge of their seats from start to finish. In this article, we will delve deeper into the various aspects of the film, including its plot, characters, settings, and themes.
1. Plot Analysis
Set in the backdrop of the royal family, the film revolves around the story of a successful hitman named O’Hara who is paid by a rich businessman to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. After he accepts the job, O’Hara begins meticulously planning and rehearsing his assassination attempt. Along the way, he meets a young American woman, Celia, who becomes caught up in his dangerous plan. As the story unfolds, we are taken through the complex web of lies, deceit, and power play amongst the upper echelons of society, all leading up to the assassination attempt at the climactic ending.
This gripping plot keeps us hooked throughout, as we try to anticipate the next turn of events and wonder about the fate of the characters involved. At the same time, it offers a peek behind the curtains of high-class society and politics, exposing the darker side of ambition, greed, and morality.
In addition to its well-written plot, the film’s pacing and cinematography also stand out, capturing the tense atmosphere of the story beautifully.
2. Character Analysis
One of the greatest strengths of “Shooting Elizabeth” lies in its carefully crafted characters. The lead character, O’Hara, played by Jeff Goldblum, is a fascinating portrayal of a highly skilled assassin. We see him almost obsessively rehearsing his assassination plan, concocting various contingencies, and strategizing his every move. Throughout the film, we are drawn into his character’s inner workings and root for him even as we see him sink deeper into moral ambiguity.
Similarly, Mimi Rogers’ portrayal of Celia showcases her talent as an actress. Her character’s naivety and sense of adventure make her a likable character, but it is her transformation throughout the film that is most impressive. From a wide-eyed dreamer to a deeply conflicted accomplice, Rogers delivers a nuanced performance that makes us empathize with her and question our own moral compasses.
Other notable characters include the businessman Norman and his wife Jennifer, who offer a glimpse into the world of the mega-rich. While these characters could have easily been one-dimensional caricatures, the actors playing them inject a sense of realism and complexity to their performances.
3. Setting Analysis
The film takes place in London and its surrounding areas, offering stunning visuals of iconic landmarks and historical sites. From Buckingham Palace to beautiful country roads, the cinematography captures the essence of British beauty and elegance.
Furthermore, the film utilizes several symbolic settings to underscore the thematic elements of the plot. The scenes within the palace, for example, represent the world of power play and hierarchy, where everyone is eager to climb the social ladder at the expense of others. On the other hand, Celia’s quaint farmhouse represents a desire for simplicity and escape from the harsh realities of life.
Overall, the different settings in “Shooting Elizabeth” serve to enhance the storytelling and add depth to the film’s themes.
4. Themes of the Film
At its core, “Shooting Elizabeth” is a complex exploration of human nature and morality. The film raises thought-provoking questions about what motivates us, and whether ambition and greed can justify any means.
Moreover, the film explores themes related to power and corruption, class divide, and the notion of fame. It shows how people are willing to bend their morals and ethics in order to achieve their goals, leading us to question whether this mentality is inherent in all of us.
Finally, the film also touches upon the idea of redemption and the human capacity for genuine change. This theme is most prominently evidenced in Celia’s character arc, but it also weaves its way through the various other characters’ journeys as well.
“Shooting Elizabeth,” with its gripping plot, memorable characters, stunning settings, and powerful themes, is a must-watch for those who enjoy thought-provoking thrillers. Baz Taylor’s direction and the performances from the ensemble cast are top-notch, making this movie a masterpiece of 90s cinema. At 98 minutes, it is a compact and well-paced story that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.
If you haven’t already watched “Shooting Elizabeth,” make sure you add it to your must-watch list today.