October 10, 2023 (NYC)– Boudica is Brilliant and Moving. A Look at Boudica, the new historical action film by filmmaker Jesse V. Johnson. Signature Entertainment presents Boudica in the UK on Digital Platforms 30th October.
This historical action is the bold, bloody story of the titular Celtic Queen. King Prasutagus rules over the Iceni people with his wife Boudica by his side, but when Prasutagus is betrayed and killed by Rome, Boudica’s kingdom is left without a male heir and the Romans seize her land and property. Driven to the edge of madness and determined to avenge her husband’s death, Boudica rallies the various tribes from the region and wages an epic war against the mighty Roman Empire. Starring Olga Kurylenko (Black Widow), Clive Standen (Vikings), Rita Tushingham (Last Night in Soho), Nick Moran (Harry Potter franchise) and James Faulkner (Game of Thrones), Boudica is written and directed by Jesse V. Johnson (Avengement).
Boudica is a brilliant and moving historical drama about the British tribal resistance to Roman occupation under the reign of Emperor Nero.
More specifically, it is the tale of a woman called to fight oppression and occupation of her land after the death of her husband and the brutal murder of her children.
Olga Kurylenko stars in the lead, as an ordinary woman called to champion the cause of justice and unity as David against the Roman Goliath. While she may not be the Boudica by birth, she assumes the mantle with ferocity and leadership and depth. Kurylenko is perfect in this role. She provides the perfect balance between her roles as the compassionate, supportive wife and mother when we meet her early in the film, and the fearless, resilient warrior as she leads the Inceni people in the insurmountable challenge of taking on an Empire.
Peter Franzen and Rita Tushingham offer depth and soul to the resistance, as they round out the cast of stellar performers that make this film so deeply moving. The young actresses that play Kurylenko’s daughters are a wonderful addition to the film. I do delight seeing the long standing relationship that Johnson has with many actors and could not help but smile seeing The Mercenary‘s, Dominique Vandenberg, in a small role in this one.
The strength of the film is founded in the passion that writer and Director Jesse V Johnson has for it. He has sat on the idea of the story for the better part of his life, according to him, and that may be why it feels so finely fleshed out. “My mother shared the Victorian version of the Inceni rebellion on a visit to Thomas Thornycroft’s wonderful statute when I was child, and I’ve been obsessed with the Boudica story ever since.” Nothing is rushed here, nor is anything treated dismissively. This is efficient storytelling and filmmaking. That is high praise for historical dramas, which often fall victim to overly dramatic storytelling and poor use of time. Not this one.
Like Johnson’s Hell Hath No Fury, Boudica manages to effectively use the historical setting and facts to tell a story of people and humanity that transcends the time in which it is set. The time is 60 A.D. in the Roman Empire, but it could easily be 2023 Ukraine, or any story of resistance.
Taekwondo Life Magazine readers know Johnson from his highly regarded martial arts, action films starring the likes of Scott Adkins, Louis Mandylor, and other notable action stars. This film has the potential to broaden his audience significantly.
This violent, action packed story is well filmed and well Directed. The cinematography, set designs, and costumes are first rate. This may easily be the highest budget film Johnson has ever headlined, but a lifetime of working on smaller budget, “A” rated films lent itself to a stunning production. This film easily stands up against Mel Gibson’s Braveheart and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, two similarly themed, historical films whose budgets, most certainly, trump this one by a lot.
This film releases in limited capacity on October 27th and Signature Entertainment will be releasing it digitally in the UK on October 30th. I am not sure what the expectations are for this one; however, I would not be shocked to see it mentioned, and mentioned again, when awards season rolls around
The film is a worthwhile and I highly recommend it. At its core it has good storytelling, good acting, and good Direction. Boudica is Brilliant and Moving.
Bleiberg Entertainment and Saban Films will release the film in the United States on October 27, 2023.
Signature Entertainment presents Boudica in the UK on Digital Platforms 30th October
Jesse V. Johnson
Run Time: 100 Minutes
Country of Origin: United Kingdom