King Charles VI (Alex Lawther) declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) settle his dispute with his squire (Adam Driver) by challenging him to a duel.
THE LAST DUEL is based on the actual event of the last time that a legal dispute was settled by a duel in France — in this case, a jousting match.
This is a stunning movie! Constructed in three chapters, we see the events from three perspectives — the man accused of raping de Carrouges’ wife (played by Jodie Comer), the husband (Matt Damon), and the woman who is making the accusation.
The acting in THE LAST DUEL is superb with nuanced performances across the three chapters, each needing to be a bit different because of the varying perspectives. Jodie Comer’s performance is outstanding. This is her best role yet
THE LAST DUEL is an exceptional story that has powerful resonances with the way women are treated in situations of toxic masculinity. We haven’t come far from Medieval times in social attitudes towards women. The movie doesn’t preach but the themes explored are unavoidable.
The cinematography is excellent and needs to be seen at the cinema if possible. Not surprisingly, given the movie is set in the Middle Ages, there is some confronting violence. The action is just as good as the more cerebral parts of the story.
THE LAST DUEL is a rare movie. It obviously had a big budget, but it is an intelligent, powerful story that requires a commitment (it’s just over two hours long). But it is worth your time. This epic historical drama is a must-see, so don’t miss it! Its themes will linger with you for a long time afterwards.
(In cinemas in Australia – check your movie guide for your local show times.)