The Last Duel sees recent buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck get together with established indie filmmaker Nicole Holofcener to adapt a real story. The story is of Marguerite de Carrouges, a fourteenth-century French Lady who was raped by an old friend of her husband’s –and tell it from three totally different angles in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.
A type galvanized by the good Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, those angles categorical of every person’s understanding regarding reality and its consequences. Jean de Carrouges (Damon), a fighting man wronged by somebody he has long considered treacherous, learns his better half has been raped and seeks payback.
The Review Of The Last Duel
The film’s first chapter, which has the familiar feel of a Saturday afternoon historical romance, belongs to him. Jacques le Gris (Adam Driver) a libertine and favored fixer and drinking partner to the native lord (Ben Affleck), is perplexed to examine his spurious good name dragged through the mud as Marguerite in public accuses him. He knew she was up for it. “Of course, she placed up the customary objections. She is a woman,” he shrugs. To him belongs the second half.
And then there is the story given voice by Marguerite (Jodie Comer), who is listed into marriage by her father. She is then treated as an enjoyable pit stop – on good days, or maybe solely in his version of events – by her husband. She is then maligned as a woman, called a liar, and manipulator of men when she dares to talk of those things regarding which more judicious girls are most decorously silent. No one has ever bothered in the past to note her truth: the method she grits her teeth as she endures her husband’s attentions, her unused intelligence, her loneliness on an isolated estate. It is all tremendously well-meaning.
The Last Duel, which is world premiering out of competition at the Venice film festival, is additionally handsomely presented. There is no misunderstanding as to who is calling the shots here.
There are tremendous fighting sequences, with knights in armor and their horses rolling in the dirt, generally in slow motion, hacking at one another with broadswords. Life is nasty, beastly, and typically short, however, veiled here with the light haziness of the past.