Director: Ridley Scott
Story By: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, & Matt Damon
Cast: Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck, & Harriet Walter
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I was pleasantly surprised with this film! Granted, there are some issues pertaining to consistency and execution to one key aspect to the Medieval time period, but overall the film is a solid piece of work.
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Below are my grades for key components in #TheLastDuel that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.
Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), Wait for Streaming, Don’t Rush, & Don’t Watch.
I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.
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Plot & Story: A
Character Arc/Development: A
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General Public: Interesting Enough
Adam Driver Fans: Worth the $$
Medieval Fans: Interesting Enough
Film Enthusiasts: Worth the $$
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1. UGH! I am so torn because Adam Driver looked DAMN good! But he was such a fuck boy and king of gaslighting! 😩😩😩
2. Acts Two and Three were the strengths of this film’s pacing, with Act Two being the highlight in both flow and engagement.
Act One is where the film unfortunately falls short, and not because it was “bad,” but because Sir Jean de Carrouges wasn’t the most interesting character; and Act One which serves as his specific chapter just didn’t have enough events from his perspective keep you as engaged. At one point, I even said to myself, “this could be a flushed out a little more if made into a 9-10 episode series.”
The last third of Act One is where things actually perk up and leads the rest of the story. 🤷🏾♂️👍🏾
3. That damn mother Carrouges! Oooo she was such a shady, evil woman. 😂😂😂
4. So many messages! I mean we are talking about a focus on the toxicity of patriarchy, respectability/respectability politics, loyalty, and visibility.
I think the core of the film really looks at the role of patriarchy controlling/wanting to control the narrative of respectability—especially when concerning women &/or the purpose/usage of women. Act One focuses on a character wanting to be given the respect he is owed, and uses the woman as an attempt to gain that respect.
Act Two looks at a character who has no respect for women because of the height of his patriarchy, and also is blinded by his own patriarchy and arrogance thinking that women respect/admire/desire him, which becomes key to the story’s plot.
Then Act Three comes in from the woman’s perspective living in a time where her existence isn’t respected and seen as proper value, which ultimately drives the story in such an interesting, uncomfortable, and necessary direction. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾
5. Pierre d’Aleçon / Ben Affleck, in my spirit, was to blame for every moment that felt as if there was a character break. He was a little too “bro” at times vs truly embodying the essence of the time period. 🥴🤷🏾♂️😩🤦🏾♂️😂
6. That final battle! 🤭🤭
7. The way the film does this repeating of the plot from different perspectives across the each Act does something really cool with the character arc and development.
Act Three is such a revealing moment that really elevates Jacques Le Gris’ and Sir Jean de Carrouges’ character development while also providing a clarifying development for Marguerite de Carrouges. BUT Marguerite’s arc is what Act Three showcases so well because it’s not just HER arc, it’s the arc of women’s history in general to some degree.
Act Two also provides a really interesting moment that adds to Jacques Le Gris’ overall Medieval fuck-boy and king gaslighting arc that carries into Act Three. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾
8. Chile, I couldn’t take the king! 😩😂😂😂🙃
9. I appreciated the subtle decisions made to ensure the camera focused on the faces of the different women whenever conversations regarding their persons were had. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
10. The Last Duel is a story about a friendship gone alarmingly south due to a lack of communication showing itself to resemble a feeling of betrayal that somehow leads to women ultimately being the cause for blame.
Acts One and Two did a great job with really showing how status within the patriarchy is allowed to hijack and disrupt the relationships of others in the patriarchy by controlling the narrative with power and honor/respect.
Act Three gives a an important and critical glimpse from a different perspective in response to an unknown patriarchal dialogue that ends up being roped in as that final straw to break the horse’s back.
Additionally, Act Three also involves a focus on a betrayal within a friendship, and within a community, due to the different perspectives of women on the main conflict.
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Overall #TheLastDuel gives Game of Thrones (seasons 1-3) meets- Handmaid’s Tales meets – The Color Purple meets – A Knight’s Tale meets – The Social Network- meets I May Destroy You
Adam Driver was really amazing to watch in both his own chapter/Act as well as on screen with Jodie Comer. Outside of Act One being the least engaging of the three, I did find Adam, Ben, and Matt’s inconsistency with keeping up with the Medieval vernacular a little annoying. There were even moments that felt more like “bros” just playing dress up &/or breaking character in an SNL skit, but there was a charm in those moments that I allowed myself to ignore because it didn’t interrupt the flow of the story at all.
Now I want to mention that this film is WHHHHHHHITE! From the characters, to the cinematography palette, to even the main/most important steed LOL LOL and I wonder what role that may have had with the box-office response.