The Last Duel
There are certain films that you don’t intend to watch but end up doing so due to peer pressure. And The Last Duel was one of them. I had zero intentions of watching it and even at the US Box Office this was a disaster. But recently I saw quite a few reviews praising the work of visionary director Ridley Scott who refuses to stop even at the age of 83(and we wish he keeps going strong). So I finally watched The Last Duel last night and these are my two cents on the film.
Story & Screenplay
Based on a book by Eric Jager, The Last Duel follows the story of a Knight who decides to settle his dispute with his Squire by challenging him to a duel. Now, I hadn’t watched its trailer and really didn’t know what to expect. But the story is intriguing and interesting and at the end of it quite relevant too. The screenplay is divided into three chapters with a major incident being enacted out from the perspective of three different people leading up to the ultimate duel. While the same incident provides the audience with three different perspectives, the writers make it crystal clear by the end of the third chapter as to who is actually responsible. Come to think of it, you can equate the incident to today’s times as well. That is how patriarchal our society is! While watching the film, you do expect some twists and turns. But there aren’t any, the truth is crystal clear. What the screenplay also does is that it peeps into the psyche of the accused. The very fact that he did no wrong in his own eyes was quite startling. What I also enjoyed was the pacing here. The drama was not a slow burn, instead it moved at quite a rapid pace. Yes, there is loads of blood and gore too so parential guidance is advised! The drama ends in a terrific face off and leads to a satisfying end. Overall, a well penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues would potentially transport you to the medieval times. The era is well portrayed through its dialogues. The BGM blends well with the drama. The cinematography is really the highlight here. Some of the frames are beautifully captured in this epic saga. Director Ridley Scott is in red hot form here. Not only was he able to mount such a big film on a massive canvass, his storytelling technique was such that it would keep you hooked and booked.
The performances are top notch. Ben Affleck as Pierre is conniving in a role which was almost tailor-made for him. The look that the makers decided to give him makes him unrecognisable! Jodie Comer as Marguerite looks pretty and delivers a powerful and relentless act. The sympathy of the audience is surely with her throughout. Adam Driver as Jacques is terrific. He is omnipresent, delivering one towering act after another and he is soon becoming my favourite. Matt Damon as Sir Jean is quite brilliant himself and the conflicts that his character faces was quite interesting to watch.
The Last Duel is an instant masterpiece which is waiting to get discovered. I can totally see this film drawing discussions in the future. Available on Hotstar and Highly Recommended!