Napoléon (2002)
A Napoleon on the side
16 June 2018
This is the first Napoleon epic where the chief speaks with a French accent; that is good. HIs words are his, many of the events are accurate. Because his life was crowded with events, all detail is left out except the love interest of Josephine.

This is a modern interpretation, so any glory of war is ruthlessly stamped out, to the point that great battles are always seen as useless slaughter with piles of corpses. Well, in part they are.

If you're looking for any of La Gloire, a big part of the period, you'll look in vain. The people rarely cheer Napoleon. We know his soldiers often shouted "Vive L'Empereur" as he passed. Instead, in the film, they barely notice him on the battlefield.

Isabel Rossellini as Josephine is seen too often, as (one of the) the women of his life. Murat stands in for all his Marshals, as a film can only pay so many actors. John Malkovich as Talleyrand is very good.

An interesting and intelligent film. Clavier plays the part of Napoleon well, although in the interests of covering all his life, he is a bit one dimensional. If you thirst for battlefield tactics, and scenes of battle, you'll be disappointed. Only one battle is covered in any detail is Austerlitz, his finest victory.

Napoleon was an extremely intelligent and relatively peaceful man. Most of the wars he fought were forced upon him by European nations in the pay of the English, who could not abide him. He was a better man than they were.
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