Passions: The Crown’s blurred lines

Published on Nov 19, 2022 08:55 AM IST

When fact turns to fiction, when real life meets reel life, is creative licence necessary, or does one need to be told?

Actor Judi Dench recently said that shows like The Crown (above) should come with a disclaimer
Actor Judi Dench recently said that shows like The Crown (above) should come with a disclaimer
ByVidushii Shrivastava, Aakanksha Singh Devi

“The show must come with a clause”

By Aakanksha Singh Devi

Aakansha says, “Former UK Prime Minister, John Major, too, has called the show factually incorrect”
Aakansha says, “Former UK Prime Minister, John Major, too, has called the show factually incorrect”

Dame Judi Dench has claimed that the latest season of The Crown is “cruelly unjust” and must come with a disclaimer. Former UK Prime Minister, John Major, too, has called it factually incorrect. And I am in complete agreement with their call for a disclaimer to be added. While I am yet to watch the new season, the past ones have proved that while much research has been done into the royal family’s history, where fact ends and fiction begins, is left ambiguous. So, how can one make sure the lines are not so blurred? Simple. Throw in that disclaimer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved watching the show. But I’ve caught myself wondering on more than one occasion, “Surely that is untrue!” And if it seems even the tiniest bit misleading, then surely it must come with a clause. Especially when the show is about an institution that has existed for centuries, is still in existence, and any “artistic portrayal” can easily alter the understanding of reality.

It does seem like the creators of The Crown were not perturbed by their art and creativity, in many ways, distorting reality. And if they mean for the viewer, who should really be enjoying a cup of tea and scones while watching the show, to pause and do a quick fact check, then that’s misusing that artistic licence. And if a show, film or even a written piece of work is not entirely factual, then surely a disclaimer isn’t too much to ask for!

Aakanksha Singh Devi, 35, is a lifestyle content creator and strategist, who may write part-time but is a full-time dreamer

Judi Dench
Judi Dench

“While watching a show, we assume that it’s fictional”

By Vidushii Shrivastava

Vidushii says, “Show writers give us a show that fictionally & creatively depicts a family with its own internal dialogue & interpersonal relationships”  
Vidushii says, “Show writers give us a show that fictionally & creatively depicts a family with its own internal dialogue & interpersonal relationships”  

“Not based on true events”. As a viewer, a statement like that would just read ridiculous. When watching a new show, we run with the assumption that that it’s fictional, unless it’s specified that it’s based on true events. The Crown is an intimate family drama show that has presented a romanticised story of a family which we have only known of from curated articles and what the news has showcased. Show writers have taken inspiration from those and given to us a wonderful show that fictionally and creatively depicts a family with its own internal dialogue and interpersonal relationships. Take the opening ceremony sequence of the 2012 Olympics that were held in London. It was as grand as one would expect and James Bond (a fictional character), escorted the late Queen Elizabeth to the arena in a helicopter, and they then skydived to their entrance. There was artistic fictional writing executed there and it was produced impeccably for the Olympics. No one had to specify to the viewers that the Queen didn’t actually jump off a helicopter. It’s the assumption an audience watches entertainment with.

Just like The Passion of the Christ (2004) was an evocative movie for Pope John Paul (“It is as it was”, the quote that famously endorsed the film), The Crown has a similar effect on viewers. However, neither may reflect the truth, they are just great artistic works.

Vidushii, 33, is a creative supervisor who is interested in everything that falls under design and ideation

From HT Brunch, November 19, 2022

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch

Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals