- Critic's Rating - 10/1010/10
Netflix‘s The Crown Season 4 is a deep masterwork propelled by the trio: the unflinching attitude of PM Margaret Thatcher aka Iron Lady, the profound aura of charming Princess Diana and the sublime statesmanship of the Queen
“Everyone in this system is a lost, lonely, irrelevant outsider, apart from the one person, the only person, that matters. She is the oxygen we all breathe. The essence of all our duties. She is The Crown.”
THE CROWN SEASON 4 (2020):
The prestigious & multiple awards winning Netflix original series, a historical drama on the British Monarchy, Royal family and reign of Queen Elizabeth 2, The Crown, returns for Season 4. Marketed as “change will challenge tradition”, it is bound to question the long-serving Queen, both: in the house by Diana Spencer aka Princess of Wales and in the government by Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher aka the Iron Lady.
Olivia Colman returns as Queen Elizabeth 2 along with all the other familiar Royal family members. Apart from Queen, the two other prominent figures of the seasons: Emma Corrin stars as Lady Diana Spencer/Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
Resuming from last season, the show initiates with the victory of Conservative Party under the leadership of Thatcher 1979 onwards. Soon, the winds would change in 10 Downing Street, thanks to Thatcher’s charisma of uncompromising political grit & leadership style which, down the line will be coined as Thatcherism. Hence, giving birth to controversial matters during that era: cost-cutting leading to unemployments, stikes and international matters like Falkland war, Gulf war, stance on practice of highly-controversial Apartheid in South Africa. Across episodes, the show meticulously works out the tension, friction building between Thatcher and her cabinet, party & most loyal leaders. And to boil it further, her complex relationship with the British Monarchy: an innate distinction how Thatcher and Elizabeth have been bought up.
Parallely, Queen Elizabeth’s oldest son, Prince of Wales: Charles, fixates on his parents’ advice to marry the young, charming and beautiful Princess Diana. The season focuses primarily on Diana’s relation with Charles: the fundamental differences and the subsequent psychological impact it creates on both. While Charles feels not being listened to by the Queen while setting up the marriage and escapes to his old love, Diana is lost in the transition from being a free young woman to a Princess whose word, motion, actions have to be calculated, precise and fit to Monarchical books. However, both try to keep up with the marriage as it is not about the family, but more importantly, it is for the integrity, trust and image of The Crown which cannot be tarnished.
The Queen, drawn at battles across multiple fonts, would have to deal diplomatically, without emotion, in order to carry on the privilege, duty, weight and responsibility of being The Crown. This season digs deeper into struggles and emotions in the Royal family and questions the faith and responsibilities which everyone attached to the Queen carries around. It depicts the farce show which has to be put up by the family members, most of the time at the cost of human nature and person’s integrity. Among all the globe-trotting, salmon-fishing, deer-hunting, constantly-smiling faces put up by the Royal family, this show thoughtfully unearths the painful hollowness which surrounds the characters and to make it worse, it cannot be expressed or revealed to the public. Afterall, in the context of Monarchy, no relation, not even between brothers, between parents and children or between husband and wife is greater than the one relation which trump it all: The Crown and the one who inherits it.
And at last, it closes on a high and thought-provoking note for its viewers. The Crown will return for a Season 5 with new characters and pick up from 1991. Season 4 is the most hard-hitting, grounded, embedded in characters, relations and impact of events, with brilliant performances put up by Anderson as Thatcher and Corrin as Diana.