Movie Review: The Last Duel

October 17, 2021

Details from IMDB:

The Last Duel

7.7/10

King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.

Initial Thoughts:

Normally I wouldn't see a movie and review it the same day, but I'm waiting for my wife to come home (and help her with her suitcase), so I am. For this, I simpled checked the reviews and it was better than "Venom: Let There be Carnage" (and I hadn't seen a movie set in the Middle Ages in a long time), so I went.

Main Points:

I'll say right away that I can only comment as a man, i.e. I will never understand what it is like to live as a woman and not have the same rights (more so currently in places other than Canada) and privileges that men do. This movie deals with the very issue of rape, violence against women, and how they are treated in society (in this case 14th century France). It is disgusting when you think about it, this movie makes it clear that women were treated closer to property than human beings and the film doesn't shy away from it.

I liked how the movies give us 3 points of view of the same events, two male and one female, and while I did some research which suggested no one will ever know all the details of what happened during this movie (in real history I mean) I believe that the wife (Marguerite) is the closest one to the truth.

I did not know about this story from France and I found myself enjoying the movie as I often enjoy true stories, especially when they are set in medieval times. Damon, Affleck, and Driver all give excellent performances but they all pale in comparison to Jodie Comer who truly shines and gives us a complex, tragic, and wonderful performance as Marguerite.

The three male characters in the film are basically scum and it is hard to like any of them but as Damon (playing Carrouges) does at least believe his wife, you are rooting for him to win the fight.

The fighting scenes outside of the duel are good but have that quick-cut North American technique that stops them from being truly special. The duel at the end, however, really pulls out all the stops and shows how brutal and dangerous two well-trained, experienced knights would be in combat.

Final Thoughts:

Even though it's a true story (mostly, as noted above) I won't give away who wins as it does make the ending much more exciting not knowing. I also have to add that watching a rape scene twice (told from both perspectives) is disturbing and serves the purpose of showing just how terrible a thing it is to do to a person. So for that, sex scenes, nudity, some gore, intense violence, coarse language, and mature themes, this is ages 19+ for sure. I can't imagine anyone bringing a child to this but I will say it just the same, this would scare and possibly traumatize a young child. For an adult who can handle this subject matter, I highly recommend it. I did find the 3 perspectives (while important) did slow the movie down and I do think a good 10-15 mins could be removed. A 7.5 out of 10 from me and I do applaud the writers/director and everyone else involved in this movie for bringing us this important lesson from the past, let us hope we can continue to learn from our mistakes as human beings.