10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
One of the best takes on Dumas' heroes,
This review is from: D'Artagnan's Daughter [DVD]  (DVD)
This film is a glorious romp of a movie. It is apparently a difficult task to film the Dumas characters. The 1993 version was dull and the 2011 version (It's the Musketeers with airships and flame throwers!!!) is frankly inexplicable. Only the 1973 Richard Lester version got it in any way right balancing fine character performances, good swasbuckling action and a lot of knowing comedy. All of these traits are to be found in Tavernier's D'Artagnan's daughter.
The cast led by Sophie Marceau are uniformly excellent. Paired with some of France's top actors Marceau does not merely hold her own but she carries vast chunks of the film and does some 90% of the stunts. The plot is a weird mix of Dumas action romance and French farce. In short after witnessing a murder at the convent where she grew up, Eloise D'Artagnan finds what appears to be a coded message that (she decides) threatens the young, arrogant and about to be crowned Louis XIV. She goes to find her famous father who has his own problems with the King. At the same time she inadvertently alerts the crafty but venal Cardinal Mazarin to a love poem, which he deduces to be evidence of the same treasonous plot. By sheer determination and charisma she persuades her father to reunite his friends and ride to the rescue one more time.
What comes across is the almost sad passage of time, the Musketeers are all at least twenty years past their prime and now get by more on skill and cunning. D'Artagnan has one scene over a grave where he bemoans what life has become. Noiret's D'Artagann retains the quick temper, guile and pride of the books along with an inability to be diplomatic.(Traits which Marceau mimics very well.) As for his friends Porthos is now the frustrated landholder, Aramis still the pious intellectual and Athos has got himself a new career.
Poignant, charming, witty on several levels, action packed and never less than entertaining. This may well be the best three Musketeers story that Dumas never wrote.