dmartsfilm’s review published on Letterboxd:
Chapter 1: The truth according to Sir Dawson
Have you ever seen Rashomon (1950)? I think the Boston fellas probably watched it and came to the conclusion that they’d love to write something like it and act in it. The story structure is heavily inspired by it and the ideas of perceptions and truths are as well.
The Last Duel was a treat to see on the big screen. It felt entirely refreshing seeing those (few) battle scenes where they utilized real horses and real people to show the scope and brutality of a battle field. CGI is mostly a burden to me nowadays. Ridley Scott shoots what’s actually there on set as much as possible.
This movie is an epic of intimate proportions. It’s an epic of perceptions and truths. It’s quite a long movie and it’s separated into 3 chapters (one for each perspective of a crime that has occurred). A few battle scenes are shown throughout and the last titular duel is unforgettable, but this film is better in its intimate moments of different perspectives. Ridley shoots each perspective so interestingly and each one reveals different details and nuances about how each character is perceiving what is happening. Jodie Comer is fantastic. Damon is fiery. Affleck is a dick. Driver is a suave and charming force.
Truly interesting that Ridley took us back to his Gladiator type roots and shows us a film that is entirely feminist. The Last Duel is a social commentary medieval courtroom drama told from 3 different perspectives. That’s incredibly ambitious if you ask me. Women are men’s property in this time and are treated as such. A lot of the commentary hits the nail on the head with things happening today. It’s what The Last Duel is here to do. Show us society today by showing similarities in our yesterdays.