The Middle Ages, that of 14th century France, at the end of the Hundred Years War, relives in a suggestive way, also touching upon contemporary themes, thanks to The Last Duel (will be released in theaters on October 14, distributed by Disney), the new effort by director Ridley Scott, who reunites Ben Affleck and Matt Damon after more than 20 years, also as screenwriters, together with Nicole Holofcener.
Real events, reconstructed in the book of the same name by Eric Jager, inspiration in this sense, to relate the history of that era, regarding an episode in particular, protagonists Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon in fact) and Jacques Le Gris, played by Adam Driver . Friends, then rivals.
The first, one of the most fearless knight of the time, found himself having to fight against the second, squire and womanizer, the favorite of the court of King Charles VI, which includes Count Pierre d’Alençon (Affleck himself), accused of brutally raping his wife Marguerite (actress Jodie Comer), while he was in battle, and from which a real trial was born. A woman, who this time, unlike the regime of the time, does not want to be silent. To put the final word, however, after analyzing the evidence and testimonies of each, it was the sovereign, entrusting himself to the so-called duel of God, in which, to the death, the truth between the two would come out. Transversal truth, seen in the film through the gaze and the version of each one (in three acts-chapters), so as to focus attention, from different points of view, on the reality (or not) of what happened.
Chivalry and feminism, intrigue and crime, betrayal and revenge, honor and epic, powerful and weak, Scott (close to turning 84, and already ready to shoot the biopic on Napoleon), delves into his style by putting together a portrait full of strength, in which it is not only the female world, but also the male one that succumbs-rebels . Fights, aristocracy, people in search of myths to idolize and bring in triumph, sexism, to the point of bothering even references to the recent #MeToo movements, The Last Duel slips two and a half hours of total visual spectacle, jumping back in time, but managing to connect to today as well.
«The great chivalric illusion, says Ben Affleck, has always been to extend the hand of the lady, to protect her, but in reality it was a code, a behavior, which denied women to be human beings on a par with men. In the film we hear this phrase “There are no rights, there is the power of men. Indeed, there are still aspects of that system that remain today, but there is a double way of looking at it. I think the film is also very feminist, so I myself am ». “I think Ben and I have matured over the years,” said Matt Damon. “In writing, when we were 20, we were underperforming, focusing well on the characters, but lacking structure, throwing away thousands of pages. It was fortunate to be back to work in this sense ».