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The enemies of Reason have a certain blind look ...,
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This review is from: The Duellists [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
After shooting artsy advertisements, Ridley Scott turned his considerable talents to actual motion pictures. His first attempt is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novella 'The Point Of Honour' - a tale of fixation-cum-obsession. Fencing in this film - crude and seemingly ungentlemanly - reflects a more realistic portrayal, rather than the quasi-romantic stylistic, balletic and 'clean' approach favoured by just about all previous films (the Musketeer films, Cartouche, Scaramouche, Don Juan, etc.); some of this fencing was also done with heavy cavalry sabres - not really 'fencing' weapons!
The American accents of Keith Carradine (Armand d'Hubert, 3ème Régiment de Hussards, reluctant duellist and realist-rather-than-Royalist) and Harvey Keitel (Gabriel Ferraud, 7ème Régiment de Hussards, and manic man of honour, fixated on fighting duels), along with Stacey Keach's third-person narration, perhaps reflecting the wider conflict and mankind's apparent need to struggle, might not be to everybody's liking. Nevertheless, Scott's attention to even the tiniest peripheral or background detail adds a visually-arresting still-life quality to the quite stunning scenery and locations. All Scott's trademarks are there, such as the moody tableaux of early-morning mists, along with condensation breath. With each viewing comes the joyous discovery of yet more period and cinematic detail.
Besides, those Hussar uniforms are pretty cool, huh ...?!!