17 November 2010 | adrean-819-339098
Tavernier takes us to middle ages
What I think was done very well in this film by Tavernier was the decors. Tavernier being a very gifted and talented director when faced with the challenge of recreating the middle ages succeeds like no other director in very recent memory. The exteriors, interiors and costumes are presented convincingly. He shows the nature without overdoing it. We are in the middle ages without being shown cliché after cliché.
There was one fact which may or may not be hard to swallow. I think there may be a divide amongst spectators in regards to the young cast, the exception being Lambert Wilson who in my opinion was exceptional as he was in the other film of this year Des Hommes et Des Dieux. While I could tolerate the young cast I didn't by no means fall in love with them, which could have affected my slight detachment from the action on screen. The weakest in my opinion, and I'm sure there will be some who disagree with me and they are right to do so, was the princess herself. I can't explain it but when she was on the screen I was almost at the point of irritation. Admittedly this is quite subjective and I didn't find her looks and full lips as my ideal of beauty, moreover I found her insatiable in her desires but I think I was suppose to believe she was passionate. If I didn't believe that the Princesse was a creature of passion but more-so a selfish materialist how could I fall in love with the story? Aside from minor nitpicking, I found the sparse battle scenes excellent! It was such a refreshing experience to see battles treated in this way. I almost wish there was more.
What I take from this film was a real master class in how to render a medieval world. As I predicted a director of Tavernier caliber would not get this wrong.