The Last Duel: The Horrors Of The Female Experience

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Two medieval feudal lords come to blows over a series of injustices.

This film is incredibly hard to watch. It is deeply hard to get through as it features a number of rape scenes which are increasingly graphic. Though I don’t know the need to be as graphic as the film chooses to be with them, I do think that using them in the narrative this film creates is a good thing as it sets up an important conversation about accountability and the mistrust of female victims when they come forward.

In many ways the film is incredibly powerful as it makes us reflect on the female experience and at how throughout time men have abused their positions and powers within society. There are some lines in this film particularly during the third chapter which is the truth of events from Marguerite’s, played by Jodie Cormer, point of view which are incredibly harrowing and show just how deep the injustice goes.

I thought Jodie Cormer was terrific here and her performance carried serious weight. Sadly, however she was let down by her co-stars, who ranged from underused to miscast. Yes, I am referring to Matt Damon who is by far the worst performer in this film. To make matters worse this film is set in France yet everyone has an American or British accent which is not only distracting but irritating and feels done because an executive thought ‘oh American audiences can’t understand a French accent or won’t read subtitles. With the idea that the actors also didn’t want to have to either learn French or try and do an accent also a likely possibility.

Overall, a powerful film in many ways but one that you would never want to watch twice.

Pros.

The conversation it starts

Addressing male abuses of power

The female perspective

Cons.

Matt Damon

The American accents  

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