Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.When it turned out that the next movie randomly picked was this one I was brought back to my teenage years. As it starred Catherine Deneuve.
If you were a teenage boy in Britain in the sixties, seventies or eighties you would basically fall into two camps regarding French actresses. Most would be following Brigitte Bardot. But there would be a minority, and I was one of them, who were definitely in the Deneuve side of the issue.
Judged on screen persona (and as a teenage boy how else would you judge someone?) Catherine Deneuve seemed cool and classy. You felt sophisticated just by watching a film she was in.
Let’s put it this way. You might lust after Bardot but you’d die for Deneuve.
The film is a Miramax production. Controlled then by the now disgraced Harvey Weinstein. I mention this fact in passing because you look at the character played by ex EastEnders actor Bill Treacher , a fat, ageing, lecher and wonder whether the screenwriters had him in mind when writing it. Certainly if it was so that would be their only bit of real classy inspiration. For the script seems to have thrown Alexander Dumas’ original novel into a fire, just googled the basic plot and made it up as they went along.
But along with the uninspiring script the greatest issue with this movie is that in terms of it’s production values it’s probably the laziest film I’ve seen in a long while.
I’ll give you three examples.
1) The first scene is set fourteen years before the main action. Yet Tim Roth’s character hasn’t aged at all during all that time.
2) You will hear French accents, English accents,faint Celtic accents (Stephen Rea) and an even fainter (but it’s there) American accent (Mena Suvari). One accent, whatever it is, is fine. This mixture goes beyond being just annoying.
3) I learnt afterwards that the stunt co-ordinator was a guy who normally did martial arts movies. this did not surprise me. The first fight scene involved swirling flashing blades that seemed more Ninja than Nice.
But that’s not all. There’s a scene where D’Artagnan has to fight whilst on a stagecoach a swarm of bad guys chasing him on horses. Not only does one shot apparently get rid of two people (what?) but he bounces on horses to deal with one guy and then you suddenly realise you’re watching that similar (though motorised) scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Alas Catherine Deneuve couldn’t save this. None of the cast could. But you feel that the real tragedy of this is that if there was a little bit more care it could have been at the very least decent.
Until the next time.