Elizabeth seems almost an answer of sorts to Shakespeare in Love presenting a dark violent Elizabethan England in stark contrast to the often cheerful one found in Shakespeare in Love also from 98. Elizabeth is a curious film in terms of its style. It feels on one hand that it is attempting some sort of legitimate depiction of the beginnings of Elizabeth's reign as Queen. However the film is more downright ridiculous exploitation than anything else. Whether this is the depiction of Queen Mary as a grotesque creature, Walsingham as a some sort of badass assassin, its constant reminding of Elizabeth not being the virgin queen, or every catholic being a sinister spy. My favorite scene in that regard has to be when some of Elizabeth's men uncover some conspirators by finding a hidden room where they are in prayer with a priest, and it's portrayed almost as though they uncovered a meth making den. Now I don't mind exploitation. My problem here is it somehow almost feels accidental considering how every scene is given this grim deadly serious tone, which seems at odds with how absurd so much of it is.