VE Day, also known as “Victory in Europe Day”, marked the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945 and is celebrated annually in the UK. On that night, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth allowed, for the first time, then-Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret to be part of the festivities in the crowds. But on one condition: that they go incognito and return to the palace by 1am.

Loosely based on the events that occurred that night, and with a creative spin and comedic touch, A Royal Night Out stars Canadian actress Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth and Bel Powley as her sister Princess Margaret. It takes place over the course of one night and is pretty much the perfect example of how being spoilt at home directly affects one’s ability to be independent.

A light-hearted comedy filled with British humour, the sisters eventually part ways with Margaret casually taking off with random men she meets. Elizabeth tries to find her sister, and thus goes about a journey of exploring the streets of Britain in the middle of the night where alcohol is most rampant. In spite of not being British, Gadon displays a convincingly strong British accent as Elizabeth. She also puts on a strong performance as a naïve woman putting all her trust into every person she meets, in hopes of finding Margaret.

Directed by Julian Jarrold, A Royal Night Out is structured well with consistent upbeat pacing to keep viewers engaged. The simple plot makes the course of events easy to follow as Elizabeth attempts to interact with strangers in hopes of locating Margaret. Suffice to say, much of the screen time is entirely devoted to Elizabeth’s character as she learns to deal with independence.

The film is a portrayal of British life and explores nightlife in the UK. Beneath the comedy, it contains the subtle message that having an overprotective family generally makes one highly ignorant, and can deprive any individual of real life experiences. Taken with a pinch of salt, A Royal Night Out makes for an enjoyable night out at the movies.

A Royal Night Out opens in theatres tomorrow.

Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Running time: 97 minutes
Rating: 3.5/5

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