The much anticipated last duel is finally out for our viewing pleasure. It was about time we got a good historical drama movie from Hollywood. ‘The Last Duel’ directed by Ridley Scott was first premiered on September 10th at the Venice Film Festival. This event was perfect as the story is based in medieval France. The movie is based on Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel, which came out in 2004. Just like many other movies this year, The Last Duel was supposed to come out on January 2021. But after months of delay because of COVID-19, the movie was finally released and proved to be a masterpiece . Brace yourself to take a journey to 14th century France.
Background and Plot
This movie is based on an original event in history. The duel stated in the title is supposedly the last legally allowed judiciary duel in France. The story goes this way- Marguerite de Carrouges, wife of Jean de Carrouges, claims that she has been raped by her husband’s best friend Jacques Le Gris when she was left alone at her castle. Jean, to honour his wife’s dignity and to get justice, challenges Le Gris in a duel.
The movie is a very interesting approach to a historical event in today’s “MeToo” culture. The writers and the director did a superb job depicting the time the story takes place. It’s almost like taking a journey through time. Now, some things will really strike you oddly, watching these events in the 21st century. Like the duel itself. Although fought for saving the honour of the Lady and delivering justice, the fight seems like more of an ego fight between the two men fighting each other over power and domination.
Even though set in a 14th century setting, you can’t ignore the similarities to the present. For example, how Marguerite was treated when she claimed she was raped by another man. Even coming clean about what has been done wrong to her was a danger to her and her son’s life. She was publicly humiliated during the hearing.
Forget about the society and its men, even the women didn’t believe her. They questioned about her dignity and blamed her for the sexual assault. So much we can relate to today’s society as well. The movie really brings up one significant question in our mind. How much has our society really progressed since the 14th century?
The director’s unique style of filmmaking also added a new flavour to the movie. There were 3 different chapters in the film. The same incident is shown repeatedly, but through the eyes of the three main leads of the story, one by one. First, it was the husband, second in words of the defendant, Le Gris. And finally, in the last chapter, we see it all unfold through the eyes of the lady herself. Not all the scenes are repeated thoroughly, but there are necessary amounts of overlap. It is actually simple if you think about it.
What can be so different about the same story? But to our astonishment, the movie will prove you wrong. With each chapter, it’s not only the events you watch going on but also the emotion and what’s going on in the person’s mind narrating them. It’s not just a good touching idea but also done effortlessly making the movie a piece of art.
More importantly, don’t you dare underestimate the movie just because it’s a historical event. There are action scenes and they will blow your mind. The movie also has suspense in a few places and they will not disappoint you. The Duel scenes are especially really nicely done. Although if you are not a fan of too much blood, stay careful because the filmmakers did not shy out in that department. They are bloody and gruesome.
Talking about performing the cast, it was outstanding. All of them really bring life to the characters, literally. The costume and props were also looking really believable and nicely done. The movie also has its outstanding set and background to match the actors’ performances. Especially, some of the wide shots of the landscapes really put together the frame of the 14th century all together.
Altogether, the movie is one of the good pieces we have seen this year. And if you take our word for it, we promise this watch will not be a waste of time. We expect more of such films from Hollywood soon. Until then, check out ” No Time To Die”, which is giving this movie a run for its money in theatres, only on Crunch Stories.