" The three Musketeers. Milady”: series of epic fights around an intriguer who plays with sword and corsage

" The three Musketeers. Milady”: series of epic fights around an intriguer who plays with sword and corsage


The main attraction of the first part of the swashbuckling saga The Three Musketeers. D’Artagnan, by Martin Bourboulon, adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas (published in series, in 1844, in the newspaper Le Siècle ), lay in his humor and his rather lively lines: Louis Garrel played a deliciously weary Louis XIII, with funny expressions, and the three musketeers, Athos (Vincent Cassel), Aramis (Romain Duris) and Portos (Pio Marmaï), soon joined by the Gascon D’Artagnan (François Civil), saw themselves gently dusted off, the scenario sending out some vague signals in contemporary times. Released in theaters in April, the film recorded more than 3 million admissions.

If these ingredients have certainly not disappeared in the second opus, The Three Musketeers. Milady , named after this free and poisonous woman imagined by Dumas, the film struggles to renew itself and does not really succeed in imposing its female character, here once again played by Eva Green. Milady is, however, at the heart of the story, the film working to unravel the knots of intrigue and mystery surrounding the identity of the young woman.

For the record, the previous feature film – by the same director, author of the biopic Eiffel (2021) – ended with the kidnapping of D’Artagnan’s lover, Constance Bonacieux (Lyna Khoudri), linenwoman of Anne of Austria , Queen of France (Vicky Krieps), after the young servant heard some “high-minded people” hatching a plot against the monarch. In Milady , the fiery Gascon will never stop trying to find his love and unmask the traitor.

Fool’s game

Milady, who seems so close to Cardinal Richelieu (Eric Ruf) and wants the musketeers’ skin, gives off a strong smell of sulfur. D’Artagnan, who saved his life in the first part, here finds the dangerous intriguer for a series of epic fights: the tandem engages in a fool’s game, like two secret agents confronting each other with speckled foils, a role effectively fulfilled by the French actress who played Vesper Lynd, a James Bond Girl in Casino royale (2006). But it’s all very smooth. If Milady and D’Artagnan occupy the space, other protagonists are relegated to the background, such as Louis XIII, the queen, the linen worker, etc.

Like a spider weaving its web, Milady attracts her prey, disarming them, as much by her strength as by her charm (the sword and the bodice), while a dark secret rises from the past. But the film rushes along at such a pace, from intrigue to plot, from rides to battles (from La Rochelle to England), that the femme fatale finds herself swept away in a whirlwind of repetitive scenes (seduction, fights, escapes), one day as a brunette, another as a redhead… Too many gallops and hooves, shots filmed close to the animal’s legs, or overhead, seen from the sky.

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