What kind of story does Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” tell?

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What I want to talk about today is “The Last Duel”, the last judicial duel in medieval France.

A life-and-death duel can tell winners and losers, but can it tell right from wrong?

In the European Middle Ages, if two people had a legal dispute that was difficult to distinguish right from wrong, the judge would agree to a duel between the two to make a ruling. This is the so-called “judicial duel.”

The victorious side is considered the right one, and this is the one who tells the truth.

It now appears that this method of adjudication is absurd, but the method of judicial duel has continued for hundreds of years in Europe.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

The background of the movie “The Last Duel” is in the 14th century, with the reign of King Charles VI.

Cavalier Carrouges accused Captain LeGris of raping his wife Marguerite, and both sides held different opinions.

Carrouges chose to settle the lawsuit through a duel.

The king agreed to this judicial duel, and the ultimate winner is the winner, and he will be blessed by God.

The reason this is the last judicial duel is because the church raised objections after the duel.

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They think that such a duel is too cruel, and that it is based on the will of God, which is extremely inappropriate.

France has since cancelled judicial duels.

But the real core of this movie is not the life and death between men, but the difficult living environment of European women in the Middle Ages.

Why are women always hurt?

This question still triggers thinking to this day.

Survival of Medieval Women

“The Last Duel” is directed by Ridley Scott, starring Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck.

Ridley Scott has directed classic films such as Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven.

The masculinity and war scenes shown in these men’s blockbuster films are unforgettable.

“The Last Duel” is a case with three perspectives.

Just like Kurosawa’s film “Rashômon”, each person in the film narrates the case from his own perspective.

Through the case, the audience can see the difficult living environment of medieval women.

The tone of “The Last Duel” is dark, and the season in the film is always cold winter.

The muddy roads, icy armors, and fierce battles, from the environment to the scenes, restored the real life of the Middle Ages as much as possible.

The chaos of war never ceases, and the right to speak can only be with powerful force.

The tall and rough knights are loyal to the lord who has power and wealth. They only care about the victory or defeat of the war and the size of the territory. Women cannot enjoy equal status.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

The first chapter of “The Last Duel” is the perspective of the knight Carrouges (Matt Damon).

He portrayed himself as a brave and combative character, and he was considerate and caring for his wife.

The second chapter of the film is the perspective of Captain LeGris (Adam Driver).

He admitted that he was suave and believed that he was just cheating, so he didn’t understand why he was accused.

The third chapter of the film is the top priority, and that is the perspective of the victim Marguerite (Jodie Comer).

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

This perspective is the most comprehensive, allowing the audience to see the arrogance of medieval men.

Just a few polite smiles at LeGris in public made him mistakenly believe that Marguerite was in love with him.

She repeatedly resisted when she was abused, and LeGris also believed that she wanted to refuse.

He also warned Marguerite afterwards, “Your husband may kill you when he hears this.”

If the word “shameless” turns into a human form, that’s probably what LeGris looks like at this time.

When Marguerite bravely told the truth about the incident, the people around her caused her secondary harm.

The husband’s mother complained about why she had to tell the story, which led her husband to the duel.

Her good friend thinks she seduce LeGris.

The judge kept asking for details and questioning in court.

All these made her want to cry without tears.

The director almost completely cut through the dark feudal side of the Middle Ages.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

Women hardly have legal rights, and even if they have been violated, few people blame the perpetrators.

A scene celebrating victory in the film is particularly ironic.

The knight Carrouges won the victory and won the tsunami-like welcome of the people.

He rode a tall horse to enjoy this glorious moment. Marguerite, who looked lonely, was in stark contrast with the lively crowd.

This duel, which originated from women and has nothing to do with women, is enough to resonate with the audience of the discovery era.

The awakening of female consciousness

The main male characters in “The Last Duel” are basically nobles.

They have power, status, and money, with the idea of ​​”man supreme” in their bones.

However, they have to maintain the dignity of the nobles in front of outsiders, pretend to be gentlemen and respect women.

Cavalier Carrouges: Matt Damon’s performance is very good. He completely abandoned his old image. He played a knight with a hideous face and a shaggy beard.

Carrouges first married her in order to obtain the land of Marguerite’s family.

So he doesn’t really love his wife at all, and maybe he doesn’t know what true love is.

Matt Damon didn’t turn the character into a facial one, he accurately grasped the character’s personality.

We can see Carrouges’s caress about wealth, his harshness toward his wife, and his awe-inspiring righteousness in front of the king.

He chose a judicial duel to solve the problem, but he did not tell his wife that if he lost, his wife would also be burned to death.

As a husband, his behavior is chilling.

Captain LeGris: Adam Driver has grasped the hypocritical nature of the character.

LeGris always speaks in a high-sounding voice, but does things sinister and fierce.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

Carrouges saved his life, but he tried every means to annex Carrouges’ territory.

This is one of the reasons why Carrouges insisted on fighting him.

Madame Cavalier Marguerite: This character played by Jodie Comer has a process of female consciousness awakening.

From the clear eyes when she first appeared on the stage, to the gradual maturity after entering the marriage, to the awakening of consciousness after the violence.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

Marguerite saw the truth of this world step by step.

But her awakening is clearly out of step with the times, so she has to bear the tremendous pressure brought by lawsuits.

When she saw her husband’s true face and asked angrily why he didn’t care about her life, she expressed extreme disappointment in the marriage.

From this moment on, she only lives for herself.

Why always emphasize women’s films?

“The Last Duel” places the background in the Middle Ages, not retro and nostalgia, but bold innovation and breakthrough.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

Previously, director Ridley Scott’s works “Thelma and Louise” and “Alien” all featured women as the protagonists and told about their growth.

“The Last Duel” adds another stroke.

Nowadays, Hollywood, from “Wonder Woman” to “Marriage Story”, “Bombshell”, “Hidden Figures”, “Gucci Family” and other works, whether it is commercial entertainment blockbusters or realistic art works, female characters occupy more and more important status.

What kind of story does Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" tell?

Movies do not represent real life, it is just a projection of reality.

In the past 100 years, women have not lost their achievements in various fields.

This may be something that Marguerite, the lady of the Cavaliers in the 14th century, could not have imagined.

What “The Last Duel” said still has its epochal significance today.

Women’s films in Hollywood are still far from “prosperous”.

Perhaps only when the word “female film” ceases to be a unique term, and the creation of female films becomes a norm, can it usher in true prosperity.

Related Post: “The Last Duel” Review: The duel in the annals of history has nothing to do with dignity or honor,everyone who is materialized is the loser of this “duel”.

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