The new film directed by Ridley Scott explores the complex character of Napoleon and we share a few thoughts based on the trailer.
There is no doubting that by wanting to bring the French military leader’s story to life, Ridley Scott has selected a complex character to focus on and judging by this trailer it certainly seems as though there is plenty of ambition to do Napoleon justice. But given Ridley Scott’s diverse range of subjects that he has previously selected for the focus of his films this perhaps isn’t a surprise.
This trailer which has been sharply put together really does showcase a wide variety of personality traits that it intends to focus on throughout the film, which has been written by David Scarpa (best known for films such as All the Money in the World and The Day the Earth Stood Still). But equally, you are given hints that this will of course not be sentimental and will not shy away from the darker aspects of the way in which Napoleon handled things as well as the way in which he rose to power.
The vibe that you can get from this film on the basis of the trailer is of course an historical epic and again given the era in which it is set, plenty of battle scenes that will of course enthral audiences who certainly know what to expect from Ridley Scott, given his work on films such as Gladiator.
But in order to make the story of Napoleon work, you need an actor who can get right to the heart of a complex character, getting all aspects of their personality in balance – no easy task. However, in Joaquin Phoenix it would seem a good match. Having played a wide variety of characters with a darkness to them, his ability to really immersive himself into a character is consistently mesmerising to watch and I think it will certainly be the case here. There is a quietness to his performances that make the audience pick up every nuance of the character and I have no doubt that this will be the same here.
However, the film will also focus on the impact of Napoleon’s relationship with Empress Josephine had on his rise to becoming emperor. Her character will be brought to life by Vanessa Kirby and it will be interesting to see the dynamic between Kirby and Phoenix’s characters develop as the story unfolds.
It is certainly going to be certainly a very dramatic but compelling film to watch unfold and it will be interesting to see how the film is received in different countries, given just how divided opinions are of Napoleon and all that he achieved throughout his life.
Napoleon is set to be released in cinemas on the 22nd November 2023.