Friday, July 12, 2024

Booktok’s favorite “Red, White, and Royal Blue” brought to life on Amazon Video Prime

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Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Larry Rincon

“History. huh, bet we could make some.”

— Alex Claremont-Diaz in “Red, White, & Royal Blue”

Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Larry Rincon

While the 2024 presidential election is only a year away, Amazon Video Prime users get to re-imagine the 2020 presidential elections through a new lens.  

Since TikTok first emerged, one of the most popular trends was Booktok. Booktok is a large-scale book club through the app where users share book recommendations. Since several books have confirmed film adaptations that have been released or are in current production.  

Casey McQuiston’s “Red, White & Royal Blue,” is one of the most long-awaited BookTok adaptations so far.

The novel follows the relationship between Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the current and first female President of the United States, and Prince Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor, the fourth in line to the British Monarchy. What starts out as a tense dislike for one another over time devolves into a secret romantic relationship.

Excluding some minimal points, the film is loyal to the novel.

For starters, Claremont-Diaz (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez) actually has a sister in the novel, June, whom the filmmakers eliminated from the movie adaptation. The film also alters some relationship dynamics and eliminates other characters.

Another small change occurs in the scene where Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor (played by Nicholas Galitzine) argues for his right to love who he wants to love regardless of his royal status. While this scene still happens, his grandmother, the Queen, is changed to his grandfather, the King.  

None of these changes are huge issues that impact the film. However, characters who add depth to Claremont-Diaz’s character would have been nice to have in the film.  

With all that being said, the movie overall did justice to the book and brought its pages to life.  

One of the biggest fears most book enjoyers have is the ability of actors to portray characters accurately. Luckily, this movie does not suffer from inadequate performances from any of the cast. 

Both Perez and Galitzine had good chemistry and managed to translate the personality of the characters really well. As someone who is more familiar with Galitzine’s acting, I was pleasantly surprised that Perez was just as good at acting.  

There really isn’t much to say about the film without comparing it to the book. For all the good, there are going to be one or two minuscule things that end up bothering viewers. Whether you’re familiar with the book or not, this is just an average movie meant to please fans of the book.  

I didn’t have the highest expectations for the film, especially from Amazon.

The soundtrack was okay. I appreciated that the film brought some aspects of Claremont-Diaz’’s Hispanic heritage through the music. I did not expect to be listening to “Bad Bunny” in this movie.  

The cinematography was nice. The most memorable and most appealing shot was during the New Year’s party when the couple gazes at each other while everyone else is dancing along to the music. The character placements and the lighting were beautiful, and the tension between the two was really strong at that moment.  

There really is not much I can say that bothers me. As a fan of the book, I know that not everything can be put on the screen. 

My only peeves with this movie are the tragically abysmal Spanish spoken by the characters and the world’s most awkward and painful sex scene ever.  

As someone who is a first-generation Mexican American, Alex’s Spanish should not have sounded like he was raised solely by his mother. His dad, who immigrated at the age of 12, also should sound like he knows how to speak Spanish. The way he pronounced “mijo” made me do a double-take.  

As for the aforementioned sex scene, most movies like to exaggerate the act. Somehow treating it more seriously made me cringe more. Something about that specific scene’s pacing and the way it was written felt off.  

With all this being said, this is a film that I think people should watch. There is a lot to be said about the politics and societal views included in the book that I think are needed during these times when people are treated differently for not being considered normal.  

This may be a romantic comedy, but the love shared between Alex and Henry is a story I love for the hardships and obstacles they have to overcome.  

If this is what I can expect from future book-to-film adaptations, then I look forward to seeing what the future holds. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com. For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on X at @MTSUSidelines.

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