Queen (2022) review: A casual coming-out story

Netflix’s Queen follows a renowned Parisian tailor and drag queen returning to his hometown in order to make amends with his daughter.

Story

Queen (Królowa’ in Polish) follows the life of a man named Sylwester, who left Poland to follow his passion and his true self in Paris.

Sylwester has been a successful tailor of bespoke suits for the past 50 years, after emigrating to Paris from a small mining town in Poland. 

He is finally ready to retire to a villa on the French Riviera. This means the last appearance for Loretta, his drag persona, in a drag revue where he’s the headliner. 

His closest friend, Corentin, tries to convince him that he still has a lot left, but Sylwester thinks it is time.

A letter from his granddaughter Iza Nowak, however, puts a pause in his plans. Iza’s mother Wiolet turns out to be the child that Sylwester left behind when he left Poland.

Violet is in need of a kidney transplant and he is a potential match. Once Corentin convinces him to go back for his daughter, Sylwester leaves Paris and meets up with Iza.

Iza sets him up in a hotel without Wiolet’s knowledge. Infuriated, Wiolet lashes out at both Iza and Sylwester. From thereon, the story takes on Sylwester’s quest to be accepted by his family for who he truly is.

Performances

Andrzej Seweryn elegantly plays the role of Sylwester and the famous drag queen Loretta, as he lip syncs to various songs and approaches fashion and music with much grace.

Kova Réa is wonderful as Corentin. It is clear right away in his performance how dedicated Corentin is to Sylwester, and the love comes through from the minute he first appears on screen.

Julia Chetnicka does a decent job at playing a pregnant teen who is meddling between her mother and grandfather’s relationship.

Maria Peszek too does a commendable job at portraying an abandoned daughter as her facial expressions and body language displayed her character’s anger and sadness appropriately.

Positives

Queen has a warmth that permeates every aspect of the story, from the love Sylwester has for his work to the affection Corentin has for him.

The film represents drag queens at large and homosexuality as Sylwester explains to Wiola that cross-dressing and sexuality are not the same thing.

It is usually children seeking their parents’ acceptance as they fear coming out to their parents. A nice change of pace is seeing a parent seeking acceptance from his daughter.

Negatives

The film lacks tension as things take place one after the other without having much impact on the characters.

Albeit revolving around Sylwester’s life, the plot does little in portraying his life and his interests.

Verdict

Queen is a gentle but powerful drama about a man who reconnects with a past he thought he left behind forever, at a point in his life where he thought he’d be spending the rest of his days in blissful retirement.

An unexpected turn of events led to him reuniting with his family. The film is great for a casual watch as it does not have any major twists to keep up with but provides a level of warmth with the acceptance the characters provide each other.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: Queen (2022) summary and ending explained