I will not be patronized by this squire who lies about court waiting to be faced with gift upon gift upon the gift and risks nothing. Director Ridley Scott strikes an unforgiving tone as he takes us back to a dark chapter in French history for The Last Duel a tale of gruesome bloody combat based on true events. Its grim story and overwhelmingly bleak atmosphere set the stage for an emotional tale of one woman’s fight for justice in the face of honor duty and so-called chivalry.
The Last Duel Movie Review & Summary
14th century France can be a hostile place especially for a woman this is even more true for a woman. Accusing a man of rape as Jody comer’s Marguerite De Carrouges soon finds out. Although The Last Duel largely focuses on how this plays out in a medieval court it opens with the cut and thrust of the titular Last Duel it’s certainly serious business as Knight’s Jean De Queruge and Jacques Lagree played by Matt Damon and Adam Driver respectively gear up for a fight to the death it’s all in the name of Honor Jacques has been accused of raping his former friend’s wife but holds your horses as there’s a lot more at stake than meets the eye.
I am risking my life for you, you are risking my life so you can fight your enemy and save your pride after giving us a brief yet brutal glimpse of the duel. That’s about to ensure we watch the same story unfold several times first from Jean’s point of view then Jacques then Marguerites. At first glance, it may seem like a labored way to tell this story but it’s used to sublime effect highlighting the unreliable nature of each man’s version of events as they bend and twist the truth to suit their own ends.
It’s a damning examination of both Jean and Jack as their individual character flaws are laid bare and Damon and Driver play these discrepancies perfectly. The real cleverness in Scott’s approach to this story is how its relationships change in the most subtle of ways from one version to the next but comer is the standout star here. Vacillating in each account between dutiful wife adulterous woman and world-weary rape victim as the scene demands playing each with staggering realism but the question remains will Marguerite find justice as jean’s mother remarks at one point there is no right there is only the power of men.
The True History Behind ‘The Last Duel’
That’s essentially what the last duel boils down to a fight between two men to determine the veracity of a woman’s rape claim it’s a stark and self-aware reminder of the struggle that many women face even today as much a cautionary tale. As a legendary one, the seriousness of the story is backed by its atmospheric setting Scott uses a palette of subdued Greys and Stony Castle walls to create a grim almost claustrophobic feel you can feel the weight of the film’s world in almost every scene that said a memorable performance by Ben Affleck as an eccentric and thoroughly debauched nobleman, adds a touch of levity when it’s needed most his foul mouth slurs break up the often grinding tone of the movie. While a glimpse of his bedroom antics reminds us that even the noble house is not without corruption.
The last duel is a master class in slow-burn storytelling allowing its complex plot to unfold naturally. Over three distinct chapters retreading that story from different perspectives allows Scott to break down the virtues of those involved calling them into question as they’re put under the spotlight throw in some sweeping epic battle scenes for good measure and you have an almost scientific examination of the medieval historical epic, alongside some stellar performances from Jody Comer, Matt Damon, and Adam Driver. The Last Duel offers several bloody brutal battles and a fierce final duel that’s up there among director Ridley Scott’s finest fight scenes.