The Three Musketeers: Milady

The Three Musketeers: Milady
Original title:Les Trois Mousquetaires : Milady
Director:Martin Bourboulon
Running time:115 minutes
Release date:19 april 2024
From the Louvre to Buckingham Palace, from the Parisian underworld to the siege of La Rochelle... in a Kingdom divided by the Wars of Religion and threatened with invasion by England, a handful of men and women will cross swords and link their destiny to that of France.

Sabine's Review

Building on the success of the first film, The Three Musketeers Part 1 D'Artagnan, comes to our screens the second part of the adaptation of the book by Alexandre Dumas, centered on Milady, but also on other subplots carried out briskly. The director Martin Bourboulon continues to breathe modernity into this adaptation. Free from the need of exposition scenes, this film has a more intense drama than the first. This review is spoiler-free.

François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Pio Marmaï and Romain Duris reprise their roles as musketeers. While the first two take on dramatic roles, the other two form a comic tandem which works and brings lightness. Eva Green steals the show by playing a wonderfull Milady, femme fatale, mysterious, captivating. A new character appears: Hannibal, played by Ralph Amoussou, inspired by the true story of Louis Anniaba, prince of Assinia and first black musketeer of France. The talented cast contributes to the success of this movie.

The two films were shot jointly over 150 days, in natural settings, castles, the citadel of Saint-Malo, Hospices de Beaune, the city center of Troyes... The costumes are weathered, the faces of the musketeers weathered. Everything contributes to the authenticity, realism of this adaptation. The fight scenes are well choreographed. Director of photography Nicolas Boluc films with a hand-held camera, in sequence shots. He immerses us into the fights and follows the characters as closely as possible. Its dark photography in brown tones fits with the theme of the film. Guillaume Roussel composes music with dark and serious themes, carried by brass and strings, and slower and expressive themes, sometimes light and poetic, which reinforce the epic character of the film.

This  film is particularly successful, more intense than the first. A great epic movie that has nothing to envy of American blockbusters.

The Three Musketeers Part Two Milday
Directed by Martin Bourboulon
Produced by Dimitri Rassam
Written by Mathieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patellière
Starring François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Pio Marmaï, Romain Duris, Eva Green, Louis Garrel, Vicky Krieps, Lyna Khoudri, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Gabriel Almaer, Ralph Amoussou, Marc Barbé, Pascal Fonta, Ivan Franek, Julien Frison, Tony Martone, Alexis Michalik, Patrick Mille, Eric Ruf, Christophe Dimitri Réveille, Dominique Valadié, Nicolas Vaude, Thibault Vinçon
Music by Guillaume Roussel
Cinematography : Nicolas Boluc
Edited by Célia Lafitedupont (on D'Artagnan), Stan Collet (on Milady)
Production companies : Chapter 2, Pathé, M6 Films, Constantin Film, ZDF, DeAPlaneta, Umedia
Distributed by Pathé Distribution (France)
Release date : December 13  2023 (France)
Running time : 115 minutes

Seen on November 20, 2023 at Publicis Cinéma

Sabine's Mark:

Mulder's Review

The Three Musketeers : Milady seems to bring to a close the diptych directed by Martin Bourboulon, whose mission was to present a new vision of the adventures of Alexandre Dumas' musketeers. This generously-ambitious second installment fully rectifies the few weak points of its predecessor, D'Artagnan, and delivers an emotionally-charged historical fresco.

The plot takes place in a complex political context, with intrigues at the court of Louis XIII and the threat of English invasion, providing a backdrop rich in narrative potential. However, the story focuses primarily on D'Artagnan's personal quest to find his girlfriend Constance and the resurgence of the iconic antagonist, Milady de Winter. While the idea of exploring Milady's tumultuous past to create a nuanced anti-heroine is interesting, it seems to have repercussions for the characterization of D'Artagnan, who finds himself stuck in an archetypal representation of the hero.

The cast, including François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Romain Duris, Pio Marmaï, and especially Eva Green as Milady, deserves praise for solid performances. Eva Green, in particular, effectively embodies Milady's complexity, juggling seduction and betrayal, bringing interesting depth to her character. Unfortunately, D'Artagnan's development seems to stagnate, leaving him behind the nuances offered to the secondary characters. What Milady's character gains in stature, D'Artagnan seems to lose in brilliance. It's also regrettable that the sublime Lyna Khoudri has to make do with mere appearances.

Action remains the film's strong point, with combat scenes executed in a practical and authentic manner, offering captivating duel moments. The Three Musketeers: Milady is the perfect example of what a great adventure film should be, capable of matching current Hollywood productions. The direction, though sometimes pretentious, manages to capture the essence of the cloak-and-dagger genre, with historical settings and meticulous costumes. 

Political intrigue becomes muddled, overshadowed by the dynamics between the main characters. The narrative choices, though ambitious, seem to lack the finesse needed to weave a complex, captivating tale. There's a real desire on the part of the director and screenwriters to deliver a mainstream film packed with action scenes and, above all, boasting an excellent cast. 

Despite its generous direction, using magnificent natural settings and spectacular action sequences, The Three Musketeers: Milady suffers from a hasty narrative transition. The film moves from one situation to another without establishing a fluid link between events, sometimes leaving the viewer disoriented. Secondary characters, such as Porthos and Aramis, seem relegated to comic roles and disconnected from the main plot, diminishing the impact of the frank camaraderie of the first installment.

Although the film offers solid entertainment and some impressive action moments, it fails to match the enthusiasm of the first installment. The Three Musketeers: Milady remains an ambitious attempt to rival American blockbusters, positioning France as a potential source of heroic tales. Although popular, this diptych seems to sacrifice the very essence of Alexandre Dumas' work in favor of a Hollywood approach, leaving an impression of artistic and narrative mess. Audiences will appreciate the action and the actors' performances, but will regret that the plot and characterization leave something to be desired for a more accomplished adaptation of this classic of French literature. The open ending leaves the door open to an ambitious series, or even a new chapter if the success is as impressive as the 3.5 million admissions for the first installment.

The Three Musketeers: Milady
Directed by Martin Bourboulon
Produced by Dimitri Rassam
Written by Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte
based on Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers
Starring  François Civil, Vincent Cassel, Romain Duris, Pio Marmaï, Eva Green, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Vicky Krieps, Louis Garrel, Lyna Khoudri, Patrick Mille, Marc Barbé, Ralph Amoussou, Julien Frison, Éric Ruf, Dominique Valadié, Camille Rutherford, Thibault Vinçon, Alexis Michalik, Gabriel Almaer 
Music by Guillaume Roussel
Cinematography : Nicolas Bolduc
Edited by Stan Collet
Production companies : Chapter 2, Pathé Films ; M6 Films, Constantin Film, ZDF, DeAPlaneta, Umedia (coproductions)
Distributed by Pathé Distribution (France)
Release date : December 13 2023 (France)
Running time : 115 minutes

Seen November 2, 2023 at Publicis Cinémas, Room 1 seat L20

Mulder's Mark: