The announced intention of director Martin Bourboulon was to maintain as much fidelity as possible to the original, which in the end is true only to a certain extent. The plot of the first part of the novel is well known, so let’s recall it very briefly.
The young Gascon D’Artagnan arrives in Paris. He becomes a cadet in the Musketeer Guard, joins Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and eventually, after they save the Queen from a scandal with England’s Duke Buckingham, the Three Musketeers become four.
The creators expanded the main plot with the story of Athos, who is to be unjustly executed and who, in the excellent performance of Vincent Cassel, became the one who leads the entire film. However, D’Artagnan, played by Francois Civil, does not come up short either, and let it be said that he has endowed his hero with endearing impudence and humor, so that he is rightly the funniest of the four.
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The rest of the cast is also top notch. Aramis was portrayed by one of the most popular French actors Romain Duris, Porthose Pio Marmai, the beautiful Eva Green gave Milady a wild femme fatale expression, the royal couple played by Louise Garrel and Vicky Krieps is also great.
Only the fees of this extraordinary acting company had to swallow a considerable part of the budget, another bite was the rental of French castles, including the courtyard of the Louvre.
However, those who remember the elegance and great musketeer coats and hats of Lester’s 1973 version with Michael York and Raquel Welch or the 1961 two-parter with Gérard Barray can forget both this time.
Bourboulon, with architect Stéphane Taillasson and costume designer Thierry Delettre, filmed the dirtiest version of Dumas’s novel, and in fact, they probably captured the seventeenth century, when the action takes place, the most formally.
Already D’Artagnan’s arrival and the first skirmish take place in rain, mud and in the dim light of street fires. The young hero then doesn’t wash his muddy face for almost the entire film, and the others aren’t much better off. For example, Athos’s long, gray and matted hair can be cut short by the executioner’s scissors. Only at the court of Louis XIII. the elegance of Anne of Austria reigns, and Mrs. Bonacieux (Lyna Khoudri) washes the bed linen with her neighbors.
As unexpected as it seems, this rendition of the Musketeer era isn’t bad at all. The filmmakers shot the film differently than their predecessors in other respects as well. They realized that today’s audience is different than the one in the sixties or seventies. There is less pathos in the film, more than the expression of emotions, cohesion, friendship and honor, the bet is on the action. The fights are rough, swords driving into enemy bodies with apparent ease. However, the amount of battles took away, for example, from the usual development of the trip to England for the royal necklace, this time not even everyone is going.
So it cannot be said with certainty that The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan is the closest to the novel, but it certainly resembles the Middle Ages the most. Maybe that’s what M. Dumas meant.
|The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan|
|France 2023, 121 min. Directed by: Martin Bourboulon, starring: Francois Civil, Vincent Cassel, Romain Duis, Eva Greenová and others|
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