Posted in FILM

The Last Duel



Ridley Scott’s latest release is a dark and grim tale with few redeeming characters.

Am I selling it to you?

The Last Duel is based on a true story surrounding the rape of Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) in 1380s France. Refusing to remain silent and let her rapist, Jacques le Gris (Adam Driver), away with his crime, Marguerite stands firm in her truth.

As a result, Marguerite undergoes a degrading trial process into her personal sexual life, suspicion, disbelief, and is ridiculed by the whole of society – branded a liar.

The movie is divided into three chapters – the truth of the event according to the three main characters: Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), Jacques le Gris, and Marguerite de Carrouges. Upon seeing the first chapter’s title appear I was prepared for this to be a very repetitive story…but it never once felt like that. Although certain scenes overlap within the three ‘truths’, you always got a different perspective; a slight nuance in a look or a gesture completely changed the dynamic and tone of the scene, and was, for me, what made the movie so engaging.

Given that the story is about rape it is an extremely heavy and shocking movie, but the questions which Marguerite is asked over the course of the trial, attempting to tear her down, is, unfortunately, unlikely to be much different to what rape victims undergo today.

The aesthetic tone of the film matches the darkness of this story, the dull grey colour complimenting the sadness and heaviness of what Marguerite endured.

It is a testament to the brilliant actors that as a viewer you can hate (Jean and Jacques) and love (Marguerite) so strongly. The fact that you want justice makes the ending scene, the last duel, so tense, not because you care about the fate of either of the two men, no, they’re so far beyond redemption as to be inconsequential, but because the fate of Marguerite’s life lies with which man lives or dies.

The fact that Marguerite risks her life in pursuit of justice and truth makes her the heroine of her own story.

Directed by: Ridley Scott

My Rating: 3.5/5

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