Thursday, November 23, 2023


Happy giving of the thanks, now let's talk war.

We truly do not get big budget epic historical dramas like we used to, so when I saw the trailer for Napoleon I was onboard all the way. I am no history buff, but I like to show my support for the genre and thankfully it's not a case of where you have to be extremely familiar with the military career of one Napoleon Bonaparte to understand everything presented. The film begins with the french revolution and the execution of Marie Antoinette and concludes with Napoleon's exile to Saint Helena, covering his marriage, his crowning as emperor, his campaigns against Britain and Prussia, and his days in exile. And from what I saw this was a huge undertaking for Ridley Scott, I mean not to say historical dramas are box office bombs by a stretch but it is a risky venture mainly due to the budget. I have no idea what the budget was but it showed a lot in terms of set production, costumes, and volume of extras which is what is to be expected from a film like this! It's directed well, the movie has moments where you are just in awe, the cast is proper good, and keeps a brisk pace where the film doesn't feel like it's pushing 3 hours. It's a farcry from an all out action film, but man I gotta admit to you I haven't felt that sense of amazement and just plain blown away by the scale of the battles scenes here since shit like, Return Of The King easily. Not necessarily in terms of awesomeness but through sheer scaling. It looks real, they really went to a field and got hundreds of people to take opposite sides and charge in. They use CG but only if it's absolutely needed, and it felt appropriately big. The politics were handled very economically to sum it up, they give you the necessary information in a concise and short manner to understand why historical world events occured. And even as a straight up newbie when it comes to french history, I recognized events and names even without knowing the full context. Joaquin is effective, he has that star power where you lock in on him and he does carry the film throughout, it's not so much a character study on Napoleon and rather a short biographical look on his command. Vanessa Kirby as Josephine is such an interesting character who you don't really know that much about but it makes want to learn about her, because she really is this average woman who gets thrown into being the literal empress of France and her subsequent fall from that grace, you kinda want to delve into that historical text but she does very well and has...maybe intentionally and bizarre chemistry with Joaquin. Odd customs and behaviors and mindsets are to be expected when you travel in the fourth dimension. Bit of an ensemble cast of minor players but all did solid work. I quite liked it, it certainly did not disappoint, and I feel it can hold people's interest if they have any to see it. I do give it a recommendation, and 3 stars, 8/10! One more film before the winter of my discontent begins.

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