- Katie Bell
The Queen's Corgi - 2019
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Wow. Never in my life have I been exposed to such an inordinate waste of tax payers' dollars, as I was in The Queen's Corgi.
The film starts by introducing us to the Queen, Prince Philip (credited as the Duke of Edinburgh), and their three corgis. Philip, decides to present the Queen with a fourth corgi as a gift. He delivers it in a gift box, decorated with the Union Jack, and conspicuously breathing-hole free. How does this baby corgi breathe? Who knows...but I see you Prince Philip. Corgi murderer! If it weren't clear in the opening scene that Philip (or at least this version of Philip) has an aversion to corgis, it becomes as clear as day in the middle of the film, when Philip is seen reading a book entitled 'How to Kill my Dog'. Why would anyone ever want to kill their own dog? Why would anyone ever need to read a book on the subject? So many questions, so few answers...probably because this isn't a film about Prince Philip's hatred for corgis at all! This film is instead about the queen's "top dog", Rex (the one who arrived in the box).
Rex is a spoiled dog. A very spoiled dog. With a poor attitude, an excess of arrogance and a persona that makes him unbearable to everyone except the Queen. However, all of this changes when (SPOILER AHEAD) villainous Corgi Charlie, tricks Rex into leaving the palace, attempts to murder him and then stages a death scene back at home. Honestly, I don't know which corgi is worse. However, after Rex enjoys a short stay at an animal shelter and encounters some less fortunate pups, his attitude swiftly changes.
I would like to take this opportunity to return to the waste of taxpayers' money. The Queen has spent our hard-earned dollars (if you live in a Commonwealth country) on a variety of Rex-themed merchandise. When I say a variety, I mean a variety. I managed to spot (and write down) the following list of items, that you could potentially invest in: mugs, cups, umbrellas, china dolls, plush toys, pens, kites, underpants, playing cards, soccer balls, lighters, back scratchers, balloons and royal portraits. Rex has also been plastered onto the side of the royal train. Honestly, heading into this review, I was planning on making a cute joke about the waste of tax payers' money, because on the poster Rex has his own crown and accompanying sceptre. I found this alarming. Then I saw the absolute waste of money and resources in all of the merchandise mentioned above. This not only encourages unnecessary consumerism, but is also shoved in a cupboard after Rex disappears and burned at the end of the film. For dog's sake! I want my money back Lizzie!
Finally, let's talk themes, because for a children's film, this movie addresses some hard-hitting topics, and I'm not sure that they are addressed in the most appropriate manner. Firstly, we have the whole Macbeth plotline, where one dog's thirst for power, prompts them to make some less than ethical choices. Then we have a series of other dogs who introduce a variety of other issues. They address drug addiction, bullying, dog fighting, "anger management", arranged marriage and there is some implied domestic dog violence. There is also a line about those dogs who have spent their entire lives at the animal shelter, "Us lifers, we've all been rejected at some point or another". I felt like they were trying to make a broader argument with that line, but then I can't be sure. Then there is the most alarming moment of the whole film, where Queen Lizzie decides to pimp out one of her corgis to help Donald Trump's beloved pooch procreate, for the purpose of enhancing "international relations". This feels so wrong, on so many levels. But it gets worse! Before locking Rex and Mitzi in a room together, Trump utters the line, "Alright Mitzi, grab some puppy". BUT IT GETS EVEN WORSE! Although Queen Lizzie cannot understand Rex's protests or lack of consent, Mitzi sure can, and she doesn't care. In the whole scene, which is far longer than felt comfortable, Mitzi chases Rex around the room, whilst he repeatedly cries that he doesn't want to have sex with her (in less explicit terms). She is not taking no for an answer. He then eventually asks if she understands what the word "no" means, in a final desperate attempt to get her to stop. She proclaims that she does, before lassoing him and dragging him towards her in an attempt to make those puppies. It. Is. So. Wrong. And what's worse, is that when another dog finds themself in a similar situation towards the end of the film, the whole cast of dogs sit back and laugh. Rex even says, "that's what you get when you're top dog". THIS IS A CHILDREN'S FILM. There is no clear message that outlines that Mitzi's actions are wrong. Although children may not understand that sexual assault is implied, they will walk away thinking that it's okay to keep going when someone says no, because it's never clarified that it's not okay...but I guess they address the fact that bullying is bad? So it evens out right? NO. IT. DOESN'T.
Based on the limited cinema release, I figured that this film wouldn't be the best. However, I thought it might offer a few laughs and the opportunity for me to write some interesting jokes. I wouldn't recommend this film for children. Or adults, really. It isn't good now, and I don't imagine it will age well at all. One final thought, I have no idea how this film went ahead. I assumed that it wouldn't be allowed to? It literally offends every famous person that it represents.