Monday, January 3, 2022

The Last Duel

The Last Duel offers a medieval he-said/she-said/he-said tale based on the true events involving Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), his wife Marguerite (Jodie Comer), and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) who is accused of raping her. Events leading up to and after the rape are shown from each of the three characters' perspectives including the trial of Marguerite and the eventual duel between the two men who may or may not have been friends at one point depending on whose account you believe.

Each reciting covers many of the same events, offering more context to their character's actions and the perspective of themselves and Marguerite who under the laws of the time was Jean's property damaged by Jacques. Let's just say it wasn't the best time to be a woman. Nor does the script look fondly on nobility (Ben Affleck) or royalty (Alex Lawther). It's as much an indictment of the time period as on the events that occurred.

There's an interesting story in the script from Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon, adapting Eric Jager's book, leading up the brutal duel between the two men, but I'll admit growing a bit weary of these characters by the third time through director Ridley Scott's film. And while all three leads are rock solid here, some of the supporting performances, particularly Affleck and Lawther, feel like they were from a more bawdy comedy leading to some odd moments at times when the focus shifts away from one of our leads.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: The Last Duel
  • IMDb: link

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