Where to start? Me and my good lady went to see the movie this afternoon. Here’s our combined thoughts, in no particular order:
- Disjointed narrative
- Badly edited.
- Lighting was dreary with the odd bit of true Ridley Scott which was good.
- Dialogue was poor.
- Was it a biopic, an historical epic, a romance, a war movie? It didn’t know either.
- Music pinched from Pride and Predjudice, the Keira Kightly one. Other tracks sounded like those out of Black Hawk Down or Gladiator.
- Failed to explain historical stuff so if you didn’t know you’d be lost.
- Some poor casting. Vanessa Kirby wasn’t too bad as Josephine and Miles Jupp as Emperor Francis was amusing. Rupert Evert as Wellington was a joke. Indeed many of the persons depicted were mere caricatures.
- Some characters were introduced with a little caption, others were not, e.g. Davout, Ney. No logic.
- Some glaring errors, e.g. referring to Francis as King rather than Emperor, Napoleon at the execution of Marie Antoinette, ‘Italy’ surrendering? Napoleon doing stuff he didn’t do, like leading cavalry charge. Using J as only reason N abandoned his army in Egypt, bollocks but very romantic.
- The battles were pretty dreadful. The Paris mob scene was actually good. Toulon was ok but didn’t look right as I thought Fort Mulgrave was an earthwork. Egypt was, well, someone’s imagination ran wild. Austerlitz was very wrong. Borodino was even more wrong. Waterloo a joke.
- Whatever happened to Marengo or Wagram?Left handed cavalry charge still in. So many flags! As many as in Kingdom of Heaven almost!
- Borodino and Waterloo had both sides dug in WW1 style! Actually, same true of Austerlitz where the French were dug in or hiding under tarpaulins. Eh?
- The frozen ponds at Austerlitz were more like the Great Lakes! I didn’t think it was that snowy either.
- More about the relationship between N and J which is not a bad thing as somewhere I have a book of the letters they exchanged over the years.
- The uniforms looked good and they did change as the years progressed so that is a plus point.
- I’ve just remembered there were mounted Lifeguards guarding N on St Helena and they showed him dying by sliding sideways into the end credits.
- The cannons did recoil and the balls didn’t explode which is good.
I went with an open mind on the basis that a movie is first and foremost entertainment. This was barely that (ok a little harsh, just), but a self indulgent exercise by Ridley Scott. Katherine with a lay person’s perspective thought it was rubbish. It could have been so much more…..but I don’t regret going to see it, and I am looking forward to the extended directors cut on Apple TV whenever it comes out.
But don’t let me put anyone off going to see it.