The second in a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the film chronicles the married life of the young empress as she tries to adjust to formal and strict life in the palace and an overbearing mother-in-law.
The Austrian empress enjoys traveling trough Hungary, where she ultimately finds the politically priceless affection of local count Andrassy too intimate, but it's only temporary relief from the frustrations of court life in Vienna, where dutiful Franz remains chained to his desk and leaves his chillingly strict mother Sophie interfering, even in the upbringing of their daughter. When Sissi is diagnosed with plausibly fatal tuberculosis and Franz has to allow Sophie to remove their daughter on doctor's warning, Sissi is in danger of losing the will to live while exiled to recovery-inducing climates (Portuguese Madeira and Greek Corfu). Then desperately needed psycho-somatic therapy appears in the form of her indestructibly positive mother Ludovika of Bavaria, who lovingly nurses both her sickness and her taste for life on idyllic walks. Once again Oberst Böckl, the clumsy body-guard whose doting admiration for the empress borders on the improper, provides a comical note, as each time ... Written by
Disneyland version of history but still enjoyable to watch
The last of the three Sissi movies continues with the idealized version of her story. Just like in Disneyland, no one ever ages and all ends well. This third film shows events that probably did happen sometime during her 45 years on the Austrian throne, but by now the overall story can only be called fiction. The second movie ended with the coronation of Sissi and Franz Josef as King and Queen of Hungary. That happened in 1867. By that time, Sissi gave birth to three children - Sophie in 1855, Gisela in 1856, and Rudolf in 1858. Her firstborn Sophie died in 1857. A fourth child, a daughter, was born in 1868. Yet this third film, presumably a continuation of the second film, shows the imperial couple visiting Venice, which happened in 1856, and shows only one child, a girl, who appears to be about 4. So the chronology is obviously all wrong here. While the illness she suffers from in this movie is based on fact, Sissie should have aged in the movie about two decades by the time these events were presented. I gave this movie a relatively low mark because of the many historical inaccuracies and omissions. In spite of these shortcomings, I still enjoyed the movie. This third movie includes some breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean coastline, and the Venice visits appears to have been shot on location. One almost feels like a part of the crowd. Franz Josef likewise seems to be forever young and is not shown with the facial hair that distinguished him for most of his reign. He already sported the beard and mustache by the time he was crowned King of Hungary in 1867, so he should have had the facial hair already by the end of the second movie and throughout the entire third movie. But that would probably spoil the Prince Charming image the film makers were aiming for. This movie should be viewed more as a fairy tale that is loosely based on the life of the imperial Austrian family. It is not an historically accurate portrayal of their life story.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?