Boudica (2003) 

 

 

 

Director:  Bill Anderson. 

Starring:   Alex Kingston (Boudica), Steven Waddington (King Prasutagus), Emily Blunt (Isolda), Leanne Rowe (Siora), Ben Faulks (Connach), Hugo Speer (Dervalloc), Gary Lewis (Magior the Shaman), Alex Hassell (Roman Officer), James Clyde (Roman Sergeant), Angus Wright (Severus), Steve John Shepherd (Catus), Jack Shepherd (Claudius), Gideon Turner (Didius), Frances Barber (Agrippina), Andrew Lee Potts (Nero).

Boudica unites the tribes of Briton against the Roman invaders

 

Spoiler Warning:  a summary of the entire movie is presented below.

1st Century A.D. Rome has been in Briton for a hundred years. The Brits enjoy fighting. Their Druid priests are supposed to have the ability to see into the future.

Queen Boudica is married to Warrior King Prasutagus. They have two daughters: the older one Isolda who is gentle and the younger, red-headed one who is fierce. Boudica says that she was happy until the Romans came. The Romans come to talk to the King. He complains of the terrorism used by the natives against Roman citizens. In private the Roman negotiator tells the King that "We could team up with your enemies and wipe you out." He adds that that wonít be necessary because the Icenae and the Romans can work together.

The King tells Boudica that he is sick of killing and that he canít go into battle anymore. Boudica says that weíll just have to make the peace work.

Magior the Shaman talks to warrior Dervalloc and tells him that the King has lost his will to fight. He wants Dervalloc to challenge the king for his position. Magior adds that Dervalloc can have Boudica that way. But rather than fight the King, Dervalloc tells his King and Queen that since his warriors skills are not needed any more in their kingdom, he will go to Gaul to find the action he craves. He adds, however, that he will be back if the Romans ever start to fight in Briton.

The Roman emperor Claudius arrives. He has a stuttering problem, but is a very down-to-earth, good person. He rejects tough talk for wooing the tribes of Briton. When Claudius returns to Rome, Nero asks him about the Britons. He feels that Claudius is far too easy on the natives of Briton.

The Romans demand that the Britons pay them tribute. King Prasutagus tells the Roman agent that "You ask too much and you take too much." Later the agent asks the King for "volunteers" (really slaves), but he is told that "We donít have slaves." The agent responds that if they donít pick the volunteers, then the Romans will have to pick them for the Britons.

Siora speaks harshly to her father saying that he is too scared to fight the Romans. Boudica slaps her daughter across the face for her insolence.

In Rome Claudius is poisoned to death and Nero takes over as emperor. In Icenae the King is ill. The Druid gives the King a potion which proves to be a poison. The King dies. The Druid tells Boudica that it was written in the stars.

Nero is in power now and he wants to be tough on the Britons. He says: "Things are going to change." In Icenae the Romans under Catus grab several young native women. Boudica, her two daughters and their body guards go to Catus to complain. The Romans grab the Britons. The men are killed, Boudica is whipped and the daughters are gang raped. After their punishment the women are allowed to return to their village. Catus says to them to tell the others that nobody defies Rome with impunity.

Dervalloc returns from Gaul and kills two Roman soldiers who try to rob and kill him. He urges Boudica to talk to the other tribes to get them to combine against the Romans. Boudica finds the task a hard one but makes great head way. Boudica and her forces now attack and take a Roman town. In the fight the young native boys with their knives gang up on and kill the sadistic Catus.

Nero is informed of Boudicaís victory through the unification of the tribes of Briton. The Roman Commander in Briton suggests to Nero that the Rome leave Briton for it is not worth the effort. But Nero sneeringly says that in essence the Romans cannot admit defeat. Their whole empire would be in danger if that happened. Instead he tells the commander to go back to Briton and bring Boudica back with him to Rome.

The next target is London. Boudica at first rejects it as a target, but Dervalloc says the other tribes want to take London, so either ake London or risk breaking the alliance between the tribes. They take London.

In Rome Neroís mother tells her son that Boudica has made a laughing stock out of him. But the glass of wine she drinks is poisoned and the mother falls dead. Nero comments: "Peace at last!"

In Briton the Roman commander makes a stand for one last, big battle with Boudica. The Britons fight hard, but the Romans are too trained and too experienced. Boudaica, Dervalloc and Siora are killed along with most of their troops. Isolda is wounded but survives the battle and gets away.

In the shadow of Big Ben in London is a statue of Boudica, the Warrior Queen.

 

Pretty good movie. A typical action flick, but with the saving grace that it deals with a Warrior Queen and her two warrior daughters fighting to rid Briton of the tyrannical Romans. In one sense it is just another revenge film like so many cowboy films. But again, with the saving grace that it about a famous British heroine. And, after all, we still donít have that many films about famous warrior queens.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:

 

See The Viking Queen (1967).

 

 

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