Set in France in the 1300s, ‘The Last Duel’ explores the administration under monarch King Charles VI, in three chapters. Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie is based on the 2004 book “The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager”.
‘The Last Duel’ features Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer in primary roles. The movie had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 10, 2021. It was praised by critics for the performance of the cast. It was also likened to the Akira Kurosawa movie ‘Rashomon’. Due to its brilliant execution, it was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the 10 best films of 2021.
- How does multiple perspective based storytelling work
- Presentation of the story
If you have not watched the movie yet, get a taste of its trailer here. If you are interested in the book that it is based on, click The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial Combat in Medieval France.
How does multiple perspective based storytelling works?
Multiple perspective based storytelling uses multiple narrators. The narrators, sometimes, tell the same story with a different perspective and other times different parts of the same incident, which bring together the incident as a whole. Each narration and perspective are used to employ different interpretations.
The narrations sometimes intersect through their similarities in venue, time, character, and actions of one or multiple agents in the story. This technique also uses the tool of a story within a story, where the main story is part of another story and is told in continuation of the broader story. There is also the tool of telling a story from different timelines, where the story is started by one agent in one timeline, then another agent intervenes and continues the story from the respective timeline.
Many similar strategies are used while deploying multiple perspectives based storytelling. This improves the absorption of the theme, creates a more convincing story arc, strong characterization, and more options for the audience to relate to the movie.
Presentation of the story: ‘The Last Duel’
The pilot of the story is an anecdote to the climax. In the movie, the three main characters tell their respective stories. The stories revolve around the central incident in the movie, a rape. Two of the characters charge another character for the crime. Even though the story doesn’t actually reveal the truth, the directors made sure to give us a hint at the beginning of the third and the final chapter, ‘The truth according to The Lady Marguerite’.
Justice, truth, morals are depicted as subjects of acceptance according to the suitability of the highest authority involved in the matter. It is evident that all the stories hold their respective narrators in high regard. The stories come with the justification of the actions of the narrators which enables and compels us to empathize with them.
The brilliant execution of the multiple-perspective storytelling is symbolic of the rising future of the multiple perspective narration techniques. Watch the movie and let us know in the comments below what is your take on the film and the direction technique.