Friday, February 1, 2013

The Duellists

When a lieutenant (Keith Carradine) in Napoleon's army is charged to arrest a like-ranked officer (Harvey Keitel) and carries out his orders during a dinner party, it is apparently the insult to end all insults. Over the course of the next twenty years, their lives are consumed by the pointless and increasingly volatile rivalry, where they engage in a series of bloody duels. Based on a story by Joseph Conrad, "The Duellists" was Ridley Scotts' extraordinary, highly artistic directorial debut. It tells an engrossing though often vague story, and features an incredibly appealing performance from Carradine, even if Keitel is miscast as he usually is in period pieces. Cinematographer Frank Tidy shot on an absolutely gorgeous canvas and the film features a series of staggeringly realistic sword fights.