La Reine Margot

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Centred on the intrigues leading up to and following the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, this historical drama begins with the arranged, loveless wedding of the Roman Catholic Marguerite de Valois (Adjani) - sister to eccentric King Charles IX (Anglade), daughter of the scheming Catherine de Medici - and the Huguenot Henri de Navarre (Auteuil). Despite Catherine's hope that the marriage may unite France, the mutual hatred felt by Catholics and Protestants soon degenerates into carnage; and Margot, who has learned to tolerate her husband while falling for young Huguenot La Môle (Perez), finds herself caught in a deadly trap. Chéreau's film is a fast-moving and savagely ironic yarn. It's also visceral, with a high gore-factor, a pervasive whiff of filth, and a compelling percussive score. The performances are top-notch, while the dark, rich photography is painterly but never lifeless.
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Release details

UK release:

1994

Duration:

162 mins

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usman khawaja

the magnificent margot in a magnificent movie That Adjani is a febrile character plotting and loving in 1576 France in a frenetic world where you could be killed for just proclaiming to be a catholic or protestant is the basis to comprehend this masterly act by the French cinema . The St.Batholomew's day massacre is the setting where the marriage of Henri of Navarre played with a understated tenderness by Daniel Autieul to Margot in an effort to quell the religious conflict is used as a bait by the Catholics headed by Catherine de Medici [Virna lisi]to gather the Protestant aristocracy in Paris for a blood fest. This is a truly evil and genius stroke which works with 6000 people being butchered in one night with Henri and La Mole saved by Margot, the puppet king Charles [Anglade]is manipulated by his mother to virtually a charade as he is not in favour of the massacre,but Anjou his brother is just as conniving as the mother and together they conspire in a religious frenzy. This actually is personal greed for power and control masked as God's work as is most religious frenzy ,the fanatics are the worst christians by any criteria forcibly converting protestants at knife point . This is the truth and Patrice observes it with a great sense of passion and frenzy which makes this great cinema rather than a mere gruesome history lesson . Adjani ,Auteuil and Anglade are drawn as humane characters who suffer,enjoy yet have an evil streak too,while La Mole played by the dashing Vincent Perez AS MARGOT'S LOVER is the sacrificial lamb used as a pawn by Catherine the queen who uses one son to assassinate another inadvertently. She is convinced like all committed fanatics that her murderous schemes are the only absolution and redemption for the french ,her ambition is convicted in a noble motive seeking purity and peace while it wrecks destruction on the whole country as well as her family. Adjani is played as a french princess would be with a grace and abandon where she is indifferent to any intervention and seeks her desires in public and in an overt manner.To understand this movie you need to study not just history but FRENCH psyche which does not believe in hiding it's true passion or motivations in diplomacy but will exonerate their true desires in a frenzy even if it costs dearly . Everyone pays a price for their whims in this feverishly excitable classic which remarkably transforms a fascinating era into great entertainment and truly artistic splendour in one of the best historical movies movies ever made. The fact Vincent perez and Virna lisi come out with aplomb amongst a great cast who are all excellent is no mean feat but neither is this movie any thing other than extra-ordinary . It requires many viewings for it's technical delights alone with an eerie atmosphere immersed in a surreal light and a grandeur which transcends the costumes and the magnificence of louvre . usman khawaja - jbz7879