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The Last Duel: A Medieval Tale of Betrayal and Vengeance

The Last Duel: A Tale of Betrayal, Violence, and Vengeance

From the creative minds of Ridley Scott, Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and co-star Matt Damon, comes a historic drama revolving around betrayal, power plays, and male egos. The Last Duel is a historical movie that tells the story of Jean de Carrouges, a knight in 14th century France who embarks on a perilous journey for justice after his wife accuses his squire of rape.

The movie is based on real events and is an adaptation of Eric Jager’s book “The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France. Set in 1386 in the midst of the Hundred Years War, the movies central plot focuses on the power plays and masculine pride of knights and the legal system of the time, which a woman has little to no say in.

The story is told through three perspectives: that of Jean de Carrouges, played by Matt Damon, Jacques Le Gris, played by Adam Driver, and Marguerite de Carrouges, played by Jodie Comer. The once close-knit friendship between Jean de Carrouges and his squire, Jacques Le Gris, takes a disastrous turn when Marguerite de Carrouges accuses Le Gris of rape.

Despite her husbands best intentions to avoid a violent outcome and seek justice through the legal system, Jean’s pleas fall on deaf ears. He is left with no choice but to seek justice through the old medieval practice of a duel to the death.

Director Ridley Scott masterfully weaves a tapestry of drama, emotion, and excitement, accentuated by the picturesque backdrop of medieval France. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the central themes of the movie – power plays, male pride, betrayal, and revenge – are not exclusive to medieval France but are universal in human behavior.

The performances of the cast were impeccable, especially Jodie Comer’s portrayal of Marguerite de Carrouges. Even in a society where women are not allowed to speak up, Marguerite refuses to remain silent.

She stands by her accusation, even though it comes at great personal cost. Her performance is a testament to the strength of women throughout history, and it is heartwarming to see her receive the support she deserves.

The movie’s themes could be seen as a commentary on the current state of society. The film highlights how deeply ingrained toxic masculinity, power, and entitlement are in human beings.

It highlights how men have historically used their masculinity as a weapon to establish dominance, and further perpetuate a society that marginalizes women and takes away their agency. In conclusion, The Last Duel is a movie worth watching.

Its plot, performances, and production are a testament to the skills each of the cast and crew brings to the table. However, it is much more than a period piece; it is a reflection on the flaws of human nature and society.

Hopefully, it serves as a reminder of how easy it is to repeat the drudgery of the past; we must act in our best interest and break free from destructive cycles. The Last Duel: The Plot

The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott, tells the story of Jean de Carrouges, a 14th-century French knight, who falls out with his longtime friend and squire Jacques LeGris after Jean’s wife accuses him of rape.

The movie is based on the real story of Marguerite de Carrouges’ accusation of rape against Le Gris, which resulted in Jean challenging Le Gris to a judicial duel. The film is divided into three parts, one for each of the main characters that the story revolves around.

The First Part: Jean de Carrouges

The movie begins with Jean de Carrouges, played by Matt Damon, returning from war to his wife and son. Despite the initial joy of coming home, tension soon arises in the household due to Jean’s wife, Marguerite, played by Jodie Comer, accusing his squire, Jacques LeGris, played by Adam Driver, of rape.

Jean’s struggle to come to terms with his wife’s accusations and his squire’s supposed betrayal forms the basis of the first part of the movie. Jean presses charges against LeGris, but nobody believes his wife’s testimony, leading Jean to take matters into his own hands.

He challenges LeGris to a duel to prove his wife’s innocence. The Second Part: Jacques LeGris

The second part of the movie is told from LeGris’s perspective, as he tries to deny the accusations leveled against him.

LeGris tries to persuade everyone to believe that he is innocent and that Marguerite’s accusations are false. His character is portrayed as a callow, easygoing man who is in way over his head with the accusations against him.

As he prepares to fight his friend, Jean, in a duel to the death, he soon realizes that this is a battle that he cannot win – as the very code he lives by, chivalry, dictates that he must fight Jean to defend his honour. It’s a situation that also sees LeGris fall out of favour with his own patron, the powerful Duke of Anjou, who looks set to abandon the squire when he realises just how much trouble he is in.

The Third Part: Marguerite de Carrouges

The third and final part of the movie centers around Marguerite de Carrouges, who is finally given a voice in the story. Marguerite’s story, which unfolds in flashbacks, is finally revealed as she recollects the rape she faced, and the society’s indifference towards her ordeal.

It is this part of the movie that focuses on the victimization of women in that time, and how a woman had no say in the matters that affected them. When questioned why she didn’t do anything, Marguerite points out that nobody would believe her, and even if they did, there would be no chance of justice.

The Last Duel: The Climactic Combat

The Last Duel’s combat scene is a spectacle to behold, as is expected from Ridley Scott. The combatants fight to the death, with each of them using their skills as a knight to take down their opponent.

The combat is an engaging experience that highlights the brutality and consequences of using violence to resolve conflicts. In the end, justice is served, and the real perpetrator is identified, which leads to a satisfying conclusion to the story.

Conclusion

The Last Duel is a powerful, thought-provoking film that is much more than just a reenactment of medieval history. The themes of consent and the struggles women faced to be heard and believed are as relevant today as they were in 14th-century France, making the movie a poignant statement on the times we live in.

The film is enhanced by the outstanding performances of the cast, and the reliably impressive filmmaking of Ridley Scott. The Last Duel: Production

The Last Duel was a massive undertaking that took several years to complete.

The film was directed by Ridley Scott, who is known for his innovative approach to filmmaking and his attention to detail. The movie’s production was carried out on a grand scale, with a vast array of actors, crew members, and extras required to bring the story to life.

Creating the World of The Last Duel

The Last Duel is set in 14th-century France during the Hundred Years’ War, and Ridley Scott took painstaking efforts to recreate that period’s look and feel. For the film’s authenticity, the filmmakers traveled to several locations to capture the essence of medieval France.

The film was shot on location in France and Ireland in various castles, towns, and villages, to give the audience a sense of the opulence of the medieval era. Additionally, the filmmakers hired a costume designer, Janty Yates, who worked with a team of artists to create intricate and breathtaking costumes for the cast of the movie.

Yates’s costumes for The Last Duel were designed to bring out the character’s personality and social status, which helped to create the look and feel of the medieval period. From the intricate patterns on Jean de Carrouges’ tunic to the luxurious fabric used on the women’s gowns, the costumes were one of the highlights of the movie.

The Cast of The Last Duel

The Last Duel boasts an impressive cast, with Matt Damon, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver playing the lead roles. Each of them delivers a standout performance, bringing an intensity and depth to their respective parts.

Matt Damon’s performance as Jean de Carrouges is one of his best in years, portraying a noble, passionate, and vengeful knight willing to fight to death to defend his honor. Jodie Comer, on the other hand, portrays the role of Marguerite with great strength and conviction.

She captures the essence of a woman fighting for her voice to be heard in a society that likes to silence women. Adam Driver’s portrayal of Jacques LeGris is a delight to watch, with his sly grin and cocky mannerisms, which make you despise his character even more.

The Technical Aspects of The Last Duel

The Last Duel’s technical aspects are exemplary, with a great attention to detail being paid to the movie’s cinematography, sound, and special effects. The movie’s cinematography, led by Dariusz Wolski, was outstanding.

The visuals in the movie are stunning, with the picturesque French countryside serving as a breathtaking backdrop to the story. The use of natural lighting and the unique framing of shots add to the movie’s realism and authenticity.

The sound design of The Last Duel was also exemplary, creating an immersive experience that transports the audience to medieval France. The sounds of clashing swords, armor, and the pulse-pounding score make the audience feel like they are right in the midst of the action.

The Final Word

The Last Duel is a masterful piece of filmmaking, with Ridley Scott and his team pulling out all the stops to create a memorable and impactful movie. The film’s attention to detail and its commitment to authenticity make it a visual feast for the eyes, and the cast’s performances are noteworthy, to say the least.

With The Last Duel, Ridley Scott has once again proved that he is a true master of his craft, and the movie is a testament to why he continues to be one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. The Last Duel: Release

The Last Duel was one of the most anticipated movies of 2021, with its medieval setting, star-studded cast, and the talented director Ridley Scott.

Like many movies, it was initially scheduled to be released in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its release was pushed to October 15, 2021. It was released simultaneously in theaters and through streaming on the Disney+ platform.

The movie’s release was undoubtedly affected by the pandemic, which led to many theaters closing or operating at a limited capacity, reducing the number of people venturing out to catch the film in theaters. Additionally, as the movie was released on streaming, being able to watch the film from the comfort of one’s home made going to the cinema unnecessary for some viewers.

Box Office Performance

The Last Duel’s box office performance was not remarkable, with the movie being considered a flop with an opening gross of $4.8 million, against an estimated budget of $100 million. Many reasons contributed to the lackluster box office appeal of the film.

Firstly, it was released in a highly competitive market, going against films like Dune and Halloween Kills. Moreover, The Last Duel’s marketing campaign emphasis on its serious plot and storyline may have led audiences to believe that it was something that they would not enjoy watching.

Furthermore, with the movie’s serious plot and setting, it was perceived by some that it lacked entertainment value or humor that would appeal to a broader swath of viewers. As such, it relied on the strength of its story and star cast to find an audience.

Critical Reception

Despite its box office performance, The Last Duel was well-received critically, scoring a 79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of its positive reviews praised the performances of the cast, Ridley Scott’s direction, and the film’s overarching message of the importance of justice and truth.

Critics also appreciated the movie’s multi-perspective approach, with each of the three main characters offering a unique perspective on the events leading to the titular last duel. While The Last Duel did not perform well commercially, the positive reception from critics indicates that it may be a movie that ages well and will be valued for the story it tells and its nuanced depictions of the characters.

Streaming Performance

The Last Duel’s simultaneous release on Disney+ was an important factor in ensuring that the film reached a broader audience. Disney+ made it available to watch on-demand from the comfort of home, which may have been attractive for many viewers at a time when many theatres were closed.

However, despite its release on Disney+, it’s streaming performance remained questionable, as the movie only spent a few days in its top 10. Furthermore, Disney’s decision to not release the film to a larger selection of streaming platforms may have also limited its reach on digital platforms.

Conclusion

The Last Duel’s box office performance may have been disappointing, but its positive reception from critics indicates that it may be a movie that ages well and will be valued for the story it tells. The unprecedented pandemic affected the film’s success in theaters, and Disney’s decision not to offer more options on streaming services may have also limited its reach, highlighting the importance of being able to reach the widest audience possible.

Despite the commercial challenges the film faced, it remains a great showcase of Ridley Scott’s talents, a masterful cast, and the work of an outstanding production team. It is a film that has its flaws but also has its strengths, a movie that seeks to entertain viewers but with a profound message that is relevant to the world we live in today.

The Last Duel: Soundtrack

The Last Duel’s soundtrack, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, is a standout feature of the film. The music is a mix of traditional orchestral music, fitting for its period setting.

It also relies on Gregson-Williams’s unique musical sensibilities, which add a modern touch to the soundscapes of medieval France. The musical score sets the tone for the movie, with its opening credits’ hypnotic choral vocals that set the scene to a medieval atmosphere.

The score is especially effective in highlighting the movie’s emotional moments. It adds a sense of depth and gravity to the story, ensuring that the audience is fully invested in the narrative.

Musical Themes

The musical themes in The Last Duel are perfectly suited to the film’s themes and its timeframe. The movie’s score is a mix of orchestral and traditional medieval music that creates the soundscapes of the film’s setting.

The use of period instruments such as the lute, harp and psaltery add an air of authenticity to the music. Alongside the orchestral score, Harry Gregson-Williams also uses the human voice to great effect in the film’s soundtrack.

The score includes ethereal chanting and haunting vocals that are reminiscent of the style of Gregorian chant used in medieval times.

Incorporation of Sound Design

The sound design in The Last Duel is impressive and is an integral part of the film’s soundtrack. The sounds of clashing swords, gallant horses, and the grunts of knights add depth and context to the film’s action scenes.

The sound design creates an immersive experience that transports the audience into the medieval world of the movie. The use of ambience and silence is also remarkable in The Last Duel’s soundtrack, building tension and drama in the film’s quieter moments.

The use of silence before and during the final duel creates a sense of anticipation and urgency that heightens the tension of the scene, ultimately leading to a thrilling crescendo of sound.

Collaboration between Music and Story

The music in The Last Duel works in tandem with the story, adding emotional depth and communicating subtle and nuanced emotions. The soaring strings used in the opening credits carry throughout the movie, underlining the stakes and the sense of peril in the proceeding events.

The music also represents the internal conflicts of the characters, subtly conveying their motivations and character arcs. For instance, the score shifts when Marguerite de Carrouges takes center stage, adding a softer and more feminine element to the music.

This subtle shift works to underscore the narrative’s idea of Marguerite’s conviction, courage, and fight for justice.

Conclusion

The Last Duel’s soundtrack is an integral part of the movie’s overall experience, with its mix of orchestral, traditional, and modern music creating the soundscape’s of medieval France. Harry Gregson-Williams’s score is perfectly crafted to fit the film’s themes, adding depth and weight to the story’s emotional beats.

Additionally, the score’s seamless integration with the sound design and story makes for a haunting and memorable experience for its audience. In conclusion, The Last Duel is a groundbreaking film that stands out for its strong cast, exceptional direction, and powerful soundtrack.

The film’s themes of justice, truth, and the perils of toxic masculinity continue to be relevant today. While it faced commercial challenges in the face of the pandemic, the film still leaves a lasting impression through its storytelling and themes that will remain relevant for years to come.

FAQs:

Q: Is The Last Duel a true story? A: Yes, The Last Duel is based on a true story by Eric Jager’s book “The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.”

Q: Why did The Last Duel flop at the box office?

A: Factors that may have contributed to its poor box-office performance include its serious plot, marketing campaigns that underplayed the film’s entertainment value, highly competitive market, and limited advertising. Q: Who is the cast of The Last Duel?

A: The

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