The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper


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Napoleon Movie Review

The ‘Fast and Furious’ of historical movies
Napoleon Movie Review

The historical film “Napoleon,” directed by Ridley Scott, attempts to capture the life and times of one of history’s most iconic figures, Napoleon Bonaparte. While the film displays impressive visuals and intriguing battle scenes, it falls short in multiple historical aspects, leaving history lovers a little bit more than disappointed. 

For starters, the historical inaccuracies of “Napoleon” are the main point of criticism. The movie dramatically breaks away from history by mixing important events and details from Bonaparte’s life in ways that are imaginative yet incorrectly portrayed. Scenes such as the opening sequence when Napoleon appears to be attending Marie Antoinette’s death, which in reality he never did, or the cannon fire scenes at the Egyptian Pyramids are just two examples of these inaccuracies.

In a biographical movie, historical authenticity is essential, particularly when focusing on a person as significant as Napoleon. Unfortunately, Scott’s depiction alters the audience’s idea of the man and his time by sacrificing historical accuracy, to heighten dramatic scenes.

When it comes to Napoleon’s rise to power, the film leaves out essential information. Starting with the final days of the French Revolution, the film moves to Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt. This ignores his whole first coalition that made him rise to fame. They also miss a key element of Napoleon’s childhood, not showing how he got to where he was or what made him so strategically gifted. The movie leaves viewers confused and uninformed about the real magnitude of Napoleon’s influence on the world stage by avoiding or oversimplifying the historical aspects of the Napoleonic Wars and the changing alliances. 

Another major problem with the film is that it concentrates too much on Napoleon’s private life, especially his romance with Empress Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Even though Josephine had a vital role in shaping Napoleon’s life decisions, the film spends too much time on their romance and too little on more essential parts of Napoleon’s story. This bias distracts from Napoleon’s true biography while undercutting the complexity and depth that a complete portrayal should provide.

Lastly, the choice to portray Napoleon Bonaparte by Joaquin Phoenix was disappointing. Although he possesses a wide range of acting skills, Phoenix falls short in his portrayal of Napoleon. In the case of Napoleon, who is under 35 years old throughout most of the film, Joaquin Phoenix is 49 years old. Despite Phoenix’s strong performance, the film loses credibility due to its inaccurate portrayal of Napoleon and its inconsistent use of historically correct actors. Despite these issues, the movie “Napoleon” is nevertheless entertaining. Scott’s directing skills are on full display in this enormous production with beautiful cinematography. Set in the early 19th century with realistic set designs and period costumes, this movie showcased excellent production values. The rest of the supporting cast is exceptional as well, improving the whole image. 

In conclusion, in terms of specific cinematic elements, “Napoleon” is excellent. Unfortunately, the film cannot and will not be considered an accurate and thorough biopic due to its historical inaccuracies, excessive focus on personal relationships, and flawed casting decisions. Despite Scott’s best efforts, his film, “Napoleon: A Life of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte,” fails to provide a realistic and insightful portrayal of this mysterious historical character. 

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Ray Klaczynski
Ray Klaczynski, Reporter
I let Future Ray handle my problems

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