One of the most interesting movies that I have seen this year so far is a period English drama titled He Knew He Was Right. The movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Anthony Trollope in 1869.
He Knew He Was Right is a BBC production that was done in four episodes for television in 2004. I have unlimited streaming on Netflix so one Saturday afternoon I decided to watch it. This movie drew me completely in right from the start. I would even say that it fascinated me as the main story and sub plots unfolded.
Louis Trevelyan is a young and wealthy Englishman. Louis travels to the fictional Mandarin island near Britain where he meets and falls deeply in love with Emily Rowley, the eldest daughter of the governor, Sir Marmaduke Rowley. Louis marries Emily and brings her to London to live. The marriage starts out as an extremely happy one. Emily is as much in love with her husband as Louis is with her. They eventually have a son together and all remains well in the Trevelyan household.
The problem starts when Emily’s godfather Colonel Osborne starts visiting her. The fact that he is coming to see his god-daughter is not so much the problem. The problem is that he is visiting Emily way too much. He is always at the Trevelyan house and in Victorian England, that is not appropriate. Colonel Osborne does not ask to see Emily and her husbands; he only wants to visit Emily. People start to talk. Louis requests that Colonel Osborne not visit her so often, but Emily being strong-willed stubbornly refuses to stop Colonel Osborne from visiting her on principle. Emily really does love her husband and would never cheat on him, so she believes that her husband should not care what others think or feel threatened by Colonel Osborne. This, to me, is Emily’s first and biggest mistake. Her total disregard fr how her husband felt and allowing Colonel Osborne to visit her so often makes her complicit in Louis’s deterioration.