Anne Boleyn (2021) Review

A retelling of the life of a queen who led a life of intrigue and mystery

Aparnna Hajirnis -

Anne Boleyn (2021) Review
Sony Liv
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Original Series Review
Movie Rated
DRAMA,Historical Fiction

What is the story about?

As the title suggests, the series is based on the eponymous Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The three-part miniseries takes place in the five months leading to Anne's trial and her execution. 


Anne Boleyn is the three-episode story of the second wife of Henry VIII, who is pregnant and is fearful of her husband as he wants a male heir. For many fans of literature and history, Anne Boleyn is one of their favourite queens, a queen they always rooted for. Which makes it even more delightful to have the iconic and talented Jodie-Turner Smith play this character. Boleyn, is flawed and mystique in various ways and is brought to life on the screen by Jodie. True lovers of History and Cinema will tell you that Anne was already portrayed in productions such as Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), The Tudors (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and Wolf Hall (2015). Her life has always fascinated people all across the world. There have been adaptations where she has been portrayed as the ultimate villain who is a seductress--manipulative and extremely cold-hearted. We will never get to know the real Anne, but do we really care? 


Jodie Turner-Smith is the clear winner in this miniseries. She carries the show on her shoulders. She is deep, intense, powerful yet vulnerable onscreen. She is tough yet one might say that she becomes a wilting flower towards the end of her life. Mark Stanley as the devious and conniving Henry VIII makes up for an interesting lead for Jodie. In their scenes together you can the sexual tension is palpable. We wish to have seen more of Lola Petticrew who plays Jane Seymour. Paapa Essiedu, Barry Ward and Amanda Burton also fare decently in the series.

Music & Other Departments

The series is a visual treat, as is any historical drama. The sets, costumes and make-up all spell opulence. The series has been shot in splendid locations in Yorkshire. The adaptation does have bits of feminism, race and contemporary ethos being added to suit the audiences of 2021, but that is how stories are being told these days in any case. The dialogues however, do appear clunky and corny at times, with way too many metaphors. 


Watch out for the brilliant acting by Jodie Turner-Smith. 


  • The dialogues are corny
  • The episodes are too long
  • It could have been a movie, instead of a series

Did I enjoy it?

As someone who is a fan of period and historical dramas, I loved it. 

Do I recommend it?

Go for it, if this genre does interest you.

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