Directed by Ridley Scott, The Last Duel is a historical drama set in 14th-century France. It is based on the true story of the last officially recognized refereeing court in France. The film stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, all of whom deliver exceptional performances in their respective roles.
The film is set in the Middle Ages, when men were considered superior to women and women’s voices were rarely heard. The story revolves around the lives of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), best friends and knights in King Charles VI’s army. However, their friendship takes a dark turn when Jean Jacques accuses him of raping his wife Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer).
The plot is divided into three parts, each told from the perspective of the three main characters. This technique offers a unique and compelling insight into each character’s motivations and emotions. The first part is from Jean’s perspective, who is portrayed as an honorable man who is fiercely loyal to his wife and family. The second part is from Jacques’ point of view, and the audience gets a glimpse of his character, which is complex and multi-layered. Not only is he a villain, he is also a victim of circumstances. The third part is from Marguerite’s perspective and this is where the film takes a feminist turn.
The Last Duel is not only a courtroom drama, but also a commentary on the patriarchal society of the time. Marguerite’s voice is almost absent in the first two parts of the film, but in the third she gets a chance to speak her truth. Jodie Comer gives a nuanced portrayal as a woman who has been wronged by the men in her life but refuses to be a victim. She is strong, resilient and refuses to be silenced.
The film’s production design is exceptional, and the costumes, sets and settings transport the audience to medieval France. The cinematography is stunning and the fight scenes are brutal and visceral, in stark contrast to the courtroom scenes.
The Last Duel moves slowly, and at times it feels like the film could have been cut shorter. However, the pacing of the film is deliberate and allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the world of 14th-century France. The screenplay, written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, is well crafted and offers nuanced portrayals of the characters.
Overall, The Last Duel is a compelling and thought-provoking film that explores themes of honor, loyalty and justice. It is a testament to the talents of its director and cast, who have created an engaging and captivating piece of cinema. The film is a must-see for anyone who enjoys historical drama and courtroom thrillers.