Movie Review – ‘The Last Duel’: Then is Now In Period Me Too Drama for 2021

Rape is followed by denial and humiliation. The survivor endures a ruthless investigation that insults his character. Everyone is deeply concerned about her husband’s dignity and respect. It has happened before, you are told – face it and move on. 

Ridley Scott’s latest film, The Last Duel, may have been set in the 1380s, but it is deeply rooted in the current conversation the MeToo organization wants to expose. Swap dresses and pants and have a seasonal film with just the look. 

The screenplay, by Nicole Holofcener, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck, is based on Eric Jager’s fictional novel The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.The Last Duel movie review: Then is now in Ridley Scott's period Me Too  drama

Damon and Affleck also play an essential role in the film,‘The Last Duel’ – Damon is a traumatized husband who is very concerned about social status, and Affleck is a happy king who likes to keep his wife pregnant at all times.

In the case of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s medieval drama, the whole story has three sides. The Last Duel has three narrators – Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver). The story is told from each character’s perspective when Marguerite accuses Jean’s friend, Jacques, of raping her and taking her against her will. The historical drama is what the theme suggests – a duel between Jean and Jacques. The bone of contention is rape. 

The same incident has different versions – one in which Jacques argues that there was no rape and Marguerite voluntarily surrendered to her. To judge these versions and to determine who is telling the truth, the King of France commands a war between two men, the survivor will have the hand of God upon him, and his word will be proclaimed as truth. 

The Last Duel is tiresome. Much effort has been put forth to create the right ambience and prepare a giant duel for the summit, but the events leading up to it are tedious and unnecessary. The whole purpose of the film is to argue about what is true? Ridley Scott takes a philosophical approach when he combines this narrative with the fact that he watches the same scenes and events happen not just once but three times makes the experience tiring. Watching a triple rape, in particular, is highly uncomfortable and numb. Was it necessary to be part of the whole narrative? That is a debate.'The Last Duel' review: Ridley Scott delivers a messy #MeToo epic : NPR

The Last Duel is divided into three chapters in Rashomon’s classic Akira Kurosawa, presenting different main characters’ views. A common feature of the motivating incident and its effect: Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accused squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of rape. Marguerite’s husband Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) is challenging Jacques to face death. Count Pierre d’Alencon (Affleck), head of news in this part of France, sits on the corner of Jacques. 

There is some doubt at first about whether Marguerite leads Jacques to morality or to be modest. Depending on the storyteller, Jean is probably a more muscular hero and a devoted husband or a jar that doesn’t care about Marguerite than her fat lobola and heir who is expected to come out. Jacques is also a clever man who can match the ingenuity and kindness of Marguerite or a well-to-do man who bends Pierre’s ear for riches, influence, and a lasting invitation to counting ceremonies.

There is nothing mysterious about Pierre. “Deny, deny, deny,” the blonde-haired hedonist advises Jacques when the rape allegations become public knowledge. The rise of the notion of nobles is in line with the latest versions of ancient history. French nobles are portrayed as financially inclined and self-centred. Court proceedings are often hypocritical, while the love of “My Beloved” is increasingly darker.Review: 'Last Duel' is a timely #MeToo period piece

However, the text is not sharp or smooth enough to convey amazing things or gradually express its stated purpose of interpreting current events through the prism of history. The solid and duplicate similarities are drawn between the distant past and the present to get an accurate picture of what gender justice and the status of respectable women were like centuries ago. 

Each new version of the rape formation and its effects removes water instead of mud. Sensible memory, the infidelity of the accounts you saw for yourself, and the smoothness of the truth – all the worries between Rashomon – are considered impossible; the Last Duel opts for a cleaner version of events. 

Although Marguerite’s story ends at the end of three chapters, his character’s arc is formed in advance. The Last Duel focused on the principles and practices of the 1380s, and did not focus on portraying Marguerite as the predecessor of MeToo, would have better served his career.The Last Duel review – storytelling with gusto in Ridley Scott's medieval  epic | Movies | The Guardian

Ridley Scott’s well-proven architecture and solid concert, critical male actors, directs the movie between the flat writing blocks and the vague stage setting. Matt Damon as the seemingly mature and wise husband of a young and attractive wife, Adam Driver as a potentially repetitive squirrel, and Ben Affleck as the medieval avatar of the little capitalists all have a more significant impact than the shaky neglected victim of Jodie Comer. 

The Denouement of the Last Duel restores the imbalance between purpose and execution. Although the Duel has a clear winner, the last note of much-needed distraction emphasizes the film’s attempt to create a bridge between what existed and what existed.

Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee

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