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The Last Duel - MeToo in the 14th century

Saw The Last Duel on HBO Max streaming. A 14th century tale based on true events, it’s classic director Ridley Scott storytelling with blood and guts. But it’s not just a slash and gore spectacle. It’s a parable for the MeToo era and shows not much has changed in the last 600+ years in terms of patriarchy and victim shaming. Created as a 3 part Rashomon style telling of the events from the viewpoint of the husband, the perpetrator and the woman, “the truth according to…” is a compelling narrative device with the last truth title in the woman’s tale lingering just that bit longer as just “The truth”. A stellar star cast consisting of long time work partners and co-producers in this movie too - Matt Damon and Ben Affeck, along with Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. At 2 and a half hours, it is long and because of its narrative structure, a bit repetitive at times, but like in this type of narrative there’s always a different nuance and way of looking at things based on the narrator and your own biases which is what Scott wants from the viewer. At 84, he is still going strong after a body of work that has movies that will be in any classics compendium like Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000), Thelma & Louise (1991) and many more.

January 16, 2022

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