Napoleon': A New Look at a Historical Legend

Ridley Scott's "Napoleon," starring Joaquin Phoenix, ambitiously captures the essence of one of history's most enigmatic figures, Napoleon Bonaparte.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Napoleon': A New Look at a Historical Legend
© Youtube/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Ridley Scott's "Napoleon," starring Joaquin Phoenix, ambitiously captures the essence of one of history's most enigmatic figures, Napoleon Bonaparte. This historical epic highlights the strengths and points out areas where it falters, offering a deep dive into the character of Napoleon.

A Focus on Napoleon's Character

The film focuses on a significant period in Napoleon's life, showcasing his rise from an ambitious officer to a leader and emperor. Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Napoleon is praised for its depth, conveying the character's insecurities and complexities, and not just his military prowess.

The film's approach to humor is noted for its effectiveness, adding a layer of realism to the character interactions. This element is seen as integral to portraying Napoleon as a flawed and multifaceted individual.

Standout Performances and Cinematic Brilliance

Vanessa Kirby's performance is highlighted, with her character's volatile relationship with Napoleon adding intrigue to the narrative.

Kirby holds her own in a film dominated by Phoenix's powerful presence. The battle sequences in "Napoleon" are described as exceptionally well-executed. The film's historical accuracy, even in its more brutal aspects, such as the depiction of battlefield casualties, is appreciated for adding realism.

Pacing and Time Management Concerns

Despite its strengths, "Napoleon" struggles with pacing and time management. The film, which runs for 2 hours and 40 minutes, feels longer than its actual duration, with certain parts dragging on.

It's suggested that a significant amount of content might have been cut from the film, impacting its flow and coherence. There is anticipation for a 4-hour cut of the film, with the belief that additional content could potentially smooth out the pacing issues and provide a more comprehensive understanding of the story.

"Napoleon" offers much to audiences: strong performances, impressive set designs, and epic battle sequences. However, its pacing issues cannot be overlooked. Despite these challenges, the film is enjoyable and worth watching, a testament to Ridley Scott's ability to create a cinematic experience that is both immersive and thought-provoking.

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