Leaving the posh lifestyle for the desert, Nicole Kidman shows us why she can indeed be “Queen of the Desert.” The trailer was released prior to a limited release in theaters and video on demand following an initial release in 2015.
The biographical film follows the life of British traveler Gertrude Bell as per AV Club. She was a writer, cartographer, archaeologist, political officer, and explorer from her early twenties to her death in Iraq. For two years, the film has been shelved and now is being given new life.
Much like Bell, Kidman has the image of a refined lady, not some rugged adventurer. This made her perfect to play the role of the woman whose experiences in her travels helped govern the modern state of Iraq. IM reported that she has to ride a camel for her role as seen in the trailer.
Leaving her native Britain, Bell journeyed to Tehran in Persia (modern day Iran) in pursuit of a more liberating life. During her journey, she met with tribal leaders and slowly came to know the people and culture of what is now the Middle East.
In a world where cultures seemed to be trapped in time, and where women were still not given the same rights as the men, Gertrude Bell is a flower in the desert. Her efforts later led her to become one of the most important representatives in the British Mandate of Iraq.
At a time where men held most of the power, it was unprecedented that British officials were willing to give Bell an enormous amount of power. This serves as verification for her vast experience and knowledge gained through her travels. Her unique perspective resulted in Iraq having relative stability for years after its independence.
Bell was one of the few members of the British government in Iraq to be remembered with affection. In a country where anti-colonialist sentiments often resulted in violence, for a British person to earn the admiration of the Arabs is indeed a testament to her dedication to her cause.
Queen of the Dessert Is A Story Of A Larger-Than-Life Character
“Queen of the Desert” aims to portray the life of this larger-than-life character to a new audience. In addition to Kidman playing the role of Bell, the film also stars James Franco, Damian Lewis, and Robert Pattinson.
Pattinson plays the role of T.E. Lawrence, the famous Lawrence of Arabia. The soldier and adventurer became Bell’s love interest after meeting him during her travels.
The role of T.E. Lawrence has been widely linked with the late Peter O’Toole. His blue eyes gleaming with adventure and his sun-kissed skin a hint of his time spent in the deserts of the Middle East.
With such a renowned predecessor, the pressure for Pattinson to pull off the role is no joke. The same goes for Kidman and the rest of the cast.
The film was shot in Jordan and Morocco. It is Werner Herzog’s first feature film after his hiatus following the release of his 2009 film “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?” The film also participated in the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in 2015.
The Film Hopes For A Second Chance At The Box Office
The film was initially not well-received by its audience failing to recuperate its production costs. This rerelease is planning to change all that and reintroduces the story of Gertrude Bell to a wider audience.
The recent success of biographical films such as Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” could very well be the impetus for the decision to stage the film for a limited release. Despite its poor performance during its initial release, the film is still something worth watching. With the addition of video on demand among its release platforms, “Queen of the Desert” could very well recover from its initial stumble in the box office.
Photo Source: YouTube/MovieClip Trailers