Humans are complicated creatures; They contain many contradictory impulses, emotions and behaviors. Ridley Scott’s Napoleon aims to capture the contradictions of such a man by being a film that has almost as many different shades as the historical giant at its center. Sometimes, Napoleon is a costume drama. For long stretches it is a bloody war film. And occasionally – in its best moments – it becomes a dirty and twisted love story about the unbreakable bond between two people: Napoleon Bonaparte, played by Joaquin Phoenix, and his wife Joséphine, played by Vanessa Kirby.

Talk about complicated creatures. Napoleon first spies Joséphine at a lavish party across the room. It is the late 1790s, and Napoleon has recently been promoted to general after leading French forces in an inspired attack against the British navy at Toulon. Joséphine is a widow; Her first husband was recently executed in the final days of the Reign of Terror. While Napoleon is immediately smitten, Joséphine seems to look at him with curiosity and perhaps a little amusement; He’s a small, haughty man in an elaborate uniform and signature bicorn hat, and he won’t stop staring at her. It’s anything but love at first sight (at least not). each other Love at first sight). Still, a marriage to a rising French military figure could be beneficial for a widow with children like Joséphine.

READ MORE: The best Oscar winners for the best film in history

An awkward courtship and marriage soon ensues, followed by years of intriguing tensions – romantic, sexual and just plain old You-are-upset-me Much of the tension revolved around the fact that when Napoleon ascended the throne of France and became its emperor, he needed a male heir to consolidate his power. Despite Napoleon’s endless attempts, Joséphine is unable to get him one.

The entire power dynamic in the relationship arises from there. Napoleon (played by Phoenix in an unusually understated performance) desires Joséphine (a beautiful and enigmatic Kirby), but he needs So does she, and the more she fights and teases and fails to get pregnant, the angrier it makes him and suddenly turns him on. The couple gets into heated and sometimes very petty (and darkly funny) arguments. At the height of his frustration over Joséphine’s infertility, he begins a manic monologue in which he threatens to divorce her and proclaims his own greatness. Napoleon waves dinner at his wife as he explains that fate has chosen him for a great purpose, exclaiming, “Fate has brought me this lamb chop!” An instantly iconic line, heard in restaurants that serve lamb. will certainly be quoted for years to come.

Napoleon Ridley Scott returns to the setting of his very first feature film, 1977 The Duelists, a historical drama set during the Napoleonic Wars. This earlier film described the long rivalry between two French officers, played by Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine, who meet and argue repeatedly over the years. The two images are similar in some ways and different in others. For one thing, The DuelistsThe entire budget was less than $1 million, which is likely more than Scott spent on the lavish and intricately detailed period costumes alone Napoleon. On the other hand, the Napoleonic Wars The Duelists were largely the picturesque backdrop for an intense character story – while in NapoleonThe wars themselves constantly interfere with the more compelling elements of the story, namely the complex connection between the two main characters.

One thing that not Scott’s depictions of the 19th century have changed: he still isn’t worried about filling 1815 France with French actors. Napoleon is one of those old-fashioned historical dramas where all the characters are French and most of the actors are English and speak with English accents. Phoenix uses a slightly more mannered version of his normal speaking voice.

I don’t mind; I’d rather lose myself in Phoenix’s brooding work without being distracted by it Zees and zeys and Sacre Bleu!s. As solid as Phoenix is ​​and as bleakly funny as his Napoleon is in moments when he rages against his imaginary enemies or flaunts his astonishing inadequacy as a lover, Kirby completely steals the film from him with her statuesque demeanor and pensive silence. Napoleon drifts in final act of the film apart.

Scott often treats his films’ theatrical releases like lucrative test screenings for his later director’s cuts; No working filmmaker has had more of his projects turned into longer (and sometimes completely different) home video works than him. In the case of Napoleon, Scott has already said he has a 4.5-hour cut in the works for an eventual release on Apple TV+. Sometimes this version of Napoleon, which runs just over 2.5 hours, feels like an incomplete snapshot of a much larger work. Phoenix’s Napoleon enters the film as an ambitious young man, but already largely developed; No attention is paid to his childhood, his early years, or the origins of his all-consuming hunger for power. Supporting characters drift in and out of his orbit; Some are identified by title cards because otherwise the audience would have no idea who these people were or why they are important to the story. Scott doesn’t spend long with any of them.

Instead, he spends a lot of time on the film’s fight scenes, which are technically impressive and somewhat interchangeable – thematically, if not visually. Certainly it would be very difficult to tell the story of Napoleon without He explores his supposed genius for military strategy and tactics. Scott actually finds impressive ways to illuminate Napoleon’s battlefield prowess; his gift for improvisation and his use of the element of surprise. However, especially in these sequences, the film about Phoenix seems far less light-hearted than its subject. They are present because they have to be, because at some point in a film about this man he inevitably has to point to the word “WATERLOO” scrawled on a giant map of Europe.

Unfortunately, they don’t really seem to contribute much Napoleon over and beyond. In fact, every time Napoleon left Joséphine for another long and bloody campaign, I longed for the film to return to her and their relationship. If Ridley Scott intended the film to give you a glimpse into Napoleon’s own psyche, he succeeded only too well. I credit him for trying to condense an enormous life into a single, easily digestible film and for giving the Napoleon/Joséphine scenes a lot of unexpected energy. But I also have to admit that when I left the theater I felt like I was less interested in Scott’s longer director’s cut and more interested in a more streamlined version Napoleon This limited the focus entirely to the central marriage and its many ups and downs.

RATING: 6/10

Historical films that are extremely inaccurate

These films are based on real people and events…but just barely. Most of what appeared on screen was invented by screenwriters.

Source :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *