The Crown (season 3)
Cast – Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Daniels, Josh O'Connor, Jason Watkins
It took three seasons, but Korona finally learned to include aspects of her personality, which she tried to hide behind proper manners and original smiles. Perceived falsely for several years as a generous defense of the monarchy, it is instead an epic family tragedy about the slow erosion of one woman's humanity.
But Elizabeth is not the only person who goes through personal accounts in the third season of the wonderful Netflix program; happiness in all its forms is as elusive to members of the royal family as a mere greeting. The years were not nice to them. The endearing naivety of previous seasons has been replaced by grim weariness; the smallest trace of rebellion was reprimanded and closed, as in dungeons on the outskirts of the fort. But most tragically, it seems that each of the main characters this season has been fully indoctrinated into a cult.
Watch the The Crown 3 season trailer here
The Crown is not so much a story about old ideas and news as it is about the horrors of aging in a muffled world. His character's internal conflicts are far more engaging than any external threat, and some of the best episodes of the third season relate to personal battles. My favorite third episode once again puts Elizabeth in a position where she must choose between the person she is and the person she must be.
When a terrifying natural disaster consumes the lives of more than a hundred children in the Welsh city of Aberfan, Elizabeth is torn between visiting city residents in mourning or postponing to the Crown and staying at Buckingham Palace, observing from a cold distance. In episode seven, her husband, a haughty Philip, experiences a kind of spiritual awakening after witnessing the adventure of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the moon and back.
Unfortunately, the episodic nature of the series turns out to be an obstacle to the organic development of the character. For example, after seemingly experiencing momentous personal revelations, both Elizabeth and Philip seem to be returning to their old habits in the following episodes. Philip, realizing his irrelevance in the grand scheme of things after the moon landing episode, returned to his small, earlier self when he throws venom against Prince Windsor for disrespect for the Crown. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is positively despicable for her eldest son and heir, Charles, and at the end of the season she makes such a cruel move that she wipes out all the sympathy we have developed for her regret over an earlier, strikingly similar decision.
Olivia Colman in the frame from The Crown.
Courtesy of Des Willie / Netflix
This season, her character is almost vampiric. "The rest of us fall like flies," says her sister Margaret in one scene, "but it continues and lasts." And Oscar winner Olivia Colman captures Elizabeth's emotionally muffled chill with alarming confidence. The relatively relaxed energy that Claire Foy brought to the role disappeared. Colman is older, yes, but the question of whether she is smarter is debatable.
However, regardless of her magnetism, no amount of Olivia Colman is enough to divert attention from the fact that Tobias Menzies, and especially Helena Bonham Carter, are underused to such an extent that they do not respect. I hope the fourth season resolves this injustice.
Josh O'Connor in The Crown.
Courtesy of Des Willie / Netflix
But the biggest revelation of the new season must be Josh O'Connor, who plays young Charles. Although the series changes perspectives quite smoothly, the two episodes told from Charles' point of view are unique. The story is not particularly subtle – the alienation of Charles from the rest of the family is conveniently reflected in Wales' political distance to Great Britain – but it has never been so. The huge performance of O'Connor in a program that is positively filled with them is unique. His heart hurts in the penultimate episode, when the man was cursed, when he patiently describes his situation as "Not so much existence, but trouble." "I am both free and imprisoned," says Camilli Shand, the love of her life, "Completely superfluous and necessary."
Shakespearean tragedy never has a major impact on the Charles scene. Like the rest of his family, Korona deprived him of the freedom to love, laugh and live; an alternative version of his future is visible to him in the eyes of the dying "uncle" of Prince Windsor.
Perhaps in the next seasons he will also learn to serve his masters and accept the family in which he was unfortunately born. Or maybe a welcome phrase can pass a part of his spirit to his children, who in turn can pass them on to each other, until one day the Saddest Family in the world finally escapes from the shackles of its own self – imposing a prison sentence.