Review in Brief: The Last Duel (2021)

Ridley Scott still does this kind of thing incredibly well. In a brutal and unflinching story, Lady Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Dtiver) of rape, causing her husband Sir Jean (Matt Damon) to call for trial by combat to determine the truth. The battles are bloody, the performances (especially from Comer and Driver) excellent and both the literal and symbolic exploration of Medieval women being seen as little more than property along with land and horses, hits hard. The script (from Damon and Ben Affleck among others) is a little clumsy at times and the RASHOMON style retelling of events doesn’t always work, but overall THE LAST DUEL is an effective and depressingly timely historical drama. The stakes of the final act deciding the ultimate fate of Marguerite in addition to the death of one of the combatants certainly makes you care more which of these awful Medieval bastards wins. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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