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.
Louis Trevelyan becomes jealous of Colonel Osborne and he starts getting into arguments with Emily over Colonel Osborne’s too frequent visits. Colonel Osborne having found out that Louis is now very jealous is extremely flattered by it. To know that young Louis Trevelyan sees him, Colonel Osbornes as a threat and rival for the affections of Emily puts his ego into huge overdrive. Colonel Osborne does nothing to ease Louis’s mind and even deliberately antagonizes the situation. A huge rip is torn into the fabric of Louis and Emily’s marriage and they eventually separate. Louis is still madly in love with his wife though and his mental unraveling is quite sad and even scary.
Clergyman Gibson with sisters Arabella and Camilla French. Arabella is very mild-mannered and Camilla is domineering. The sisters are competing to become the clergyman’s wife.
Jemima Stanbury is a very manipulative spinster.
Besides the ,main plot of this movie, there are several other sub plots that will keep you glued to this 4 part miniseries. The actions of the insanely jealous Louis Trevelyan keeps you on the edge of your seat. The period costumes are fabulous and all of the actors give superb performances. I enjoyed the style of filming. At certain parts one of the main actors would turn and look straight into the camera speaking their lines as if he or she was speaking directly to you about their situation, it helps to pull you right into the lives of the characters.