Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Vicky Krieps

QuickView: The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan (2023)

“I don’t insinuate. I am the King.”

Louis XIII

Since the invention of cinema, Alexander Dumas’ swashbuckling serial of adventure and intrigue has provided fertile inspiration for filmmakers. This decade’s update arrives as a two-part French epic, the first French adapation in over 60 years. Opening with a brawl in mud and rain, D’Artagnan begins his adventure by literally pulling himself out of a shallow grave, setting the film’s darker tone. Martin Bourboulon contrasts the grimy streets of Paris with the warm golds of the aristocracy’s furnishings. The impressive cinematography keeps action visible even in the dark, whilst maintaining a strictly controlled colour palette, most scenes featuring only a single hue. At times the film subtly adopts D’Artagnan’s perspective through sound design and visuals, like the muffled audio as he recovers after being flung from his horse, or a nighttime ambush where we see only the blades of his attackers as they strike from off-screen. The biggest names deliver the most impressive performances — a brooding Vincent Cassel as the falsely accused Athos, and Eva Green vamping as Richelieu’s spy, Milady. Played straight (though retaining a dash of humour), the pacing may be a little slow for some viewers but I found this to be easily the most polished of The Three Musketeers’ recent adaptations.


QuickView: Old (2021)

“Stop wishing away this moment.”


As a high-concept fable about time and aging, Old shows early promise with a group of strangers stranded on a beach where the flow of time means that they will age a full lifetime in the span of just one day. Sadly the writing never comes close to a coherent or thoughtful exploration of these ideas and dialogue is painfully stilted. Instead the premise gets old fast, which would be impressive were it deliberate. Although Shyamalan continues to attract talented actors, there is no depth to characters who are mere cyphers (an actuary worried about future risk married to a museum curator interested in the past) or fodder for the plot, all ultimately hapless victims as the film leans into temporal body horror. Shyamalan remains a victim of early success as — though this is not a film that relies on a grand twist — he does try to cram in narrative complexity at the end, which does little more than highlight an intriguing bioethics angle that might have been more engaging if it were more than an afterthought. Old is a tedious way to lose two hours of your life but at least it is never scary enough to age you prematurely.


QuickView: Phantom Thread (2017)

“I cannot begin my day with a confrontation, please. I’m delivering the dress today, and I can’t take up space with confrontation. I simply don’t have time for confrontations.”

Reynolds Woodcock

Its first half is a portrait of a fastidious man against a period backdrop of couture dressmaking with Paul Thomas Anderson’s usual verisimilitude, but this is not a film about fashion. Daniel Day Lewis’ (allegedly final) performance is excellent, and the sound design deftly demonstrates how the external world grates upon him, but the character is less accessible than Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Patience is required until the second half reveals the film’s real focus, which is how a relationship works with such an obsessive, fussy individual — distance, emotional manipulation and codependency.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

Up ↑