Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier
Countries & Regions: France
Studio: Second Sight
Length: 125 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 4 October 2010
Cat No: 2NDVD3185
Screen ratio 1:1.78
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Humorous swashbuckling adventure from renowned director Bertrand Tavernier. A beautiful young woman (Sophie Marceau) discovers a plot to... Read More
A fiendish plot is afoot – serious enough for the villains to attack a convent, to silence an escaped slave who could foil their plans. When the mother superior is killed in the raid, a loyal young novice, Eloïse by name and played by Sophie Marceau at her most alluring, declares she will avenge the desecration with the help of her father – none other than D'Artagnan!
Trouble is, the famous musketeer (Noiret) has hit hard times since he deposited his child with the nuns and could do without this headstrong young lady getting him into trouble. But she's her father's daughter and quickly finds herself embroiled in a world of kings, codes and conspiracies; D'Artagnan has to tag along to make sure his offspring comes to no harm.
Although inspired by Alexandre Dumas, D'Artagnan's Daughter downplays the one-for-all-and-all-for-all chivalry for a more boisterous mix of swordplay, farce and style. It's clear that Betrand Tavernier is having a whale of a time away from his regular art-house beat, paying tribute to all the classic swashbuckling movies of his beloved Hollywood. The cast are on the same wavelength, most especially Tavernier-favourite Noiret, who gives full rein to his gift for hangdog comedy as the loving – but frequently exasperated – D'Artagnan.
As befits a film set in part at the court of the Sun King, it's a lavish affair, carefully designed, exquisitely photographed and gorgeous to behold; the interiors evoke the paintings of the seventeenth century and many exteriors are bathed in the magical light of dawn and dusk.
The script isn't quite as elegant – the plot is complicated and occasionally opaque. Then again, the plot is largely a pretext for the small moments that make this film such a delight – the scheming Cardinal Mazarin mistaking a poorly-composed love poem for a cunning cipher; D'Artagnan's repeated abuses of his loyal servant Planchette's good faith. Tavernier juggles the tone perfectly – although very funny, the director loves adventure films too much to mock them, never forcing laughs at the expense of integrity of the story.
Relaxed, entertaining and thoroughly recommended.