Napoleon review: a powerful and fragile emperor

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Napoleon, the new film by Ridley Scott starring Joaquin Phoenix is ​​now available in all theaters and in streaming, let’s analyze the work in this review and find out if the director still knows what to do with historical films

ORIGINAL TITLE: Napoleon. TYPE: biographical, historical, drama, war, action. NATION: United States of America, United Kingdom. REGIA: Ridley Scott. CAST: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Catherine Walker, Ben Miles, Ludivine Sagnier, Matthew Needham. DURATION: 158 minutes. DISTRIBUTOR: Scott Free Productions. CINEMA EXIT: 23/11/2023.

Anyone who has ever attended compulsory school knows very well who he is Napoleon Bonapartewho in this film directed by Ridley Scott is played by the talented and masterful Joaquin Phoenix. The director once again got involved with historical films, telling the story of one of the greatest characters in history and one of the greatest generals the world has ever known. Although there are historical inaccuracies to which some scholars have made their unstoppable criticisms, to which Ridley Scott promptly responded, the film is in any case a mix of spectacularity and charm that envelops the director’s interpretation of the character who was the French emperor, telling his story from beginning to end.

The birth of a legend | Napoleon review

As we have already said, Ridley Scott wanted to tell the story of the French general from the beginning of his military career. As with any great man during the early stages of his career, Napoleon is a dreamer, a man who seeks to make his mark in history by fighting alongside the French in every possible mission to try to rise in rank and gain a certain reputation, which is difficult for the young man at first. Starting from a simple soldier, with the passing of the battles (and with a lot of blood and shock) he begins to rise to power, initially being appointed general for his skill in military combat.

Just like in real life, Napoleon makes himself noticed by the big members of the government, starting to gain the respect of the other soldiers, of France and of the women. Precisely the latter will be the turning point for him, when he meets Josephineplayed by the beautiful and talented actress Vanessa Kirby, who plays a key role in the film. The plot, in fact, revolves around the relationship that is created between the two and the importance that the woman has in the life of the French general.

Napoleon review: a powerful and fragile emperor

A strong woman for a fragile man | Napoleon review

What the character of Giuseppina represents is the safe place where Napoleon takes refuge after each battle from which he returns victorious. Napoleon may also be very skilled in war, with impeccable and visionary tactics and a willpower that few have, but his willpower is due to hislove of the woman of his life, which manages to motivate him whenever uncertainties or doubts arise in man. However strong Napoleon may have been, it was thanks to his wife that he managed to succeed and want to obtain glory at any cost.

The relationship of the characters of Phoenix and Kirby is what the film is mainly based on, on how the legendary figure of Napoleon was born and what difficulties he faced to ensure that he achieved the success that made him the first French emperor. Giuseppina represents the human side of the protagonist, she brings out every weakness and fragility in her and at the same time makes it one of the most powerful men the world has ever known. The chemistry between the two actors can be perceived very much, they are in a synergy that is rarely seen in cinema and make the marriage of Napoleon and Josephine the central point of the film.

Napoleon review: a powerful and fragile emperor

Spectacular and scenic battles | Napoleon review

Another point that must be analyzed is another aspect of life at the end of the 18th century that characterized that historical period: the battles. Without a war there is no Napoleon, which is why there is no shortage of spectacular battle scenes between the French army and that of opposing peoples such as the Russian, Austrian and English. Let’s remember that before being an emperor, Napoleon is a military general, and in the film he proves to be a very respectable one. He showcases his strategic tactics in combat by taking advantage of the environment and tricking his opponents with clever moves, then leading to the meat of the battle. Lots of blood, violence and shots from rifles and cannons liven up the scene, coloring the ground red.

The direction of these fight scenes is truly masterful, after all we couldn’t expect anything else from the same director as Gladiatorfamous film with Russell Crowe. Here too the battles are alive, the spectator is able to perceive the violence and aggressiveness of those battles with firearms and every single movement is easily understandable, despite the fact that on stage there is a mass of men killing each other. Everything is very clear, no confusion is created and above all the fights manage to entertain properly.

Napoleon review: a powerful and fragile emperor

A man, a general, an emperor | Napoleon review

In addition to the romance and the battles, of course it could not be missing either Napoleon’s rise in politics. Contrary to what one might think, politics is a well-covered topic, without however going into too many details to maintain a high level of entertainment. In any case, there is no shortage of the most important events, such as the appointment of Emperor Napoleon, the Battle of the Pyramids, the Battle of Waterloo, the exile on the island of Elba and the final exile on the island of St. Helena.

Every aspect of Napoleon’s life, among the most important at least, is told clearly without being boring or heavy, always remembering that it is not a documentary, but a war film. Those who have studied Napoleon, therefore, apart from some historical changes created to adapt to the film genre, will be satisfied and will fondly remember the times in which they studied the historical figure in their school career.

Napoleon review: a powerful and fragile emperor

France, army, Giuseppina | Napoleon review

Those who are passionate about history believe that Napoleon is a fascinating character to say the least an inspirational figure for those who want to leave something to the world, because this is what Napoleon did, which is why it has become one of the main chapters in history books. What the legendary French general represents is what the lust for power can cause to a man’s mind, how far willpower can pushwhich made him a man to remember and never forget.

Ridley Scott managed to tell, even if in a cinematographic way, what Napoleon meant for the whole world and for France. History books recall the memory of the greatest character that France has ever had the honor of having, but also this film, Napoleon, also thanks to the perfect interpretation of Joaquin Phoenix, managed to fascinate the world about his character, remembering the great deeds he accomplished.

Stay updated on so you don’t miss anything from the world of cinema and TV series, we take this opportunity to invite you to go to the cinema to watch this masterpiece.

Ridley Scott strikes again!

Points in favor

  • Perfect leading actors with excellent chemistry
  • Spectacular and well shot fight scenes
  • Mesmerizing photography
  • Clarity in the narrative

Points against

  • Historical events not completely accurate

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