I bought The Queen on DVD yesterday. It was an easy choice, in that the DVD was cheap and the film is, for all intents and purposes, fantastic. My Grandmother has frequently lamented that she had missed her chance to see it at the movies, and so I was going to share the love.
I looked at the back of the case when I got home, and saw that the DVD boasts no subtitles. What is wrong with some films that we can’t get freaking subtitles on them? It seems that this problem falls largely on the side of British films. Gosford Park, for instance, held no subtitles and, despite being an Altman project, was at least honorarily British.
I can lend this movie to my Grandparents but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to fully appreciate it simply because they might not catch everything – although, given that the cast speak the Queen’s English, it would be less difficult than several other films.
I will not lie to you, though, my motives are not entirely altruistic. In my house, we watch everything with subtitles. The moment we got a TV with teletext, I turned those suckers on. My parents complained at first, but then they realised that the subtitles were useful and so they stayed. If I’m watching a DVD with my parents, then I’ll turn on the subs. A lot of the time, I’ll watch stuff by myself with subtitles. It helps me focus, and they’re just something that you’ll always expect to be there.
It angers me, therefore, when I do not see them on a DVD. Especially on something as high profile as The Queen. You won an Academy Award for Best Actress, damnit! You aren’t going to win any awards for subtitling, The Queen, and you could have had them in the bag!
In the new world order, DVDs without subtitles will be punished. The Queen will be first against the wall.