The Last Duel is a historical drama he directed Ridley Scott according to a screenplay written by Nicole Holofscener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The story is based on the true events described in the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France Eric Jagger. The adaptation was announced back in 2015, the film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, and the cinema distribution will start on October 15 through the company 20th Century Studios.
The film is set in medieval France in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War and follows Jean de Carrouge (With Dejmon) and Jacques le GrisaAdam Driver), longtime friends and comrades-in-arms who became angry opponents. While de Carouge is a respected knight known for his bravery and skill on the battlefield, le Grisa’s intelligence and eloquence make him a respected nobleman and right-hand man of Count Pierre de Alanson (Ben Aflek). At the center of their conflict is Marguerite de Carouge (Džodi Komer) which initiates a lawsuit against Le Gris, which will result in a knightly duel.
The events of the story are divided into three different chapters and are presented through a rassomon effect that in each chapter reflects the contradictory perspectives of the three main characters. The Rashomon effect represents the influence of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, as a result of which the observers of a certain event produce significantly different, but equally convincing testimonies. The Last Duel deals with the truth, how perspective can change a person’s understanding of reality and the sad fact that justice is not important at all in a culture that cares only about the status or whims of the one who has the most power.
Marguerite is a strong and brave woman who was ready to stand in the service of truth on her own in the time of the omnipresent power of men. She refuses to remain silent, which puts her life in danger and her story is definitely the most important in this film, both in terms of narration and in terms of the legal case between Jean and Jacques. He presents the script in a clever way, for example in the first chapter he is a loyal and adored wife, while in the second he serves as an object of forbidden affection. Ultimately, she is the only person who is guaranteed to know the truth about what happened.
The first chapter presents the story from Jean’s perspective, while the second is left for Jacques, and I believe the whole point is to see how unreliable those perspectives are. We imagine that the truth of certain scenes, viewed from both perspectives, lies somewhere in the middle – somewhere between Jean’s belief that he is a man who has the right to respect and high position and who has been wronged because of a man who was his friend and Jacques’ belief that benevolent and loyal to his faults. In the eyes of the law, the winner of the duel would prove right because victory would be a definite sign of divine authority above any judgment of the common people or the king himself. However, the sad reality is that there can be no real winner in this fight.
Marguerite’s perspective rejects all that. In her story, real or imagined betrayals, quarrels, political maneuvers, men’s beliefs about themselves or others – do not matter at all. The third chapter destroys every meaning we have about Jean or Jacques, as well as the basics of the law and the way justice was done at that time. In this chapter, we realize how absurd it is that any form of justice for Marguerite can be achieved through a final duel, although that duel has nothing to do with her – her role is to wait while other people who disguised personal interests as chivalry determine her fate.
Unlike the film Rashomon, here the perspectives are not drastically different because we learn almost everything in the first chapter, and the other two more or less serve as confirmation, which leads to a feeling of repetitiveness. That is why this epic film leaves no room for mystery or tension, and therefore does not have a constant intensity of events, except for those brutally realistic on the battlefield or in the duel itself – it is a little strange that the film advocates feminist themes. fighting to the death.
The Last Duel is a historical drama set at a time when women were left at the mercy of people who cared about their status even when someone’s life was at stake – a very good but repetitive critique of systemic misogyny that was not as effective as it could have been.
my final grade: 8/10
Source: The Filmske Recenzije by filmskerecenzije.com.
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