Scott’s bio-epic is a feast for the senses

Scott’s bio-epic is a feast for the senses

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Ridley Scott’s epic Napoleon.

If you’ve missed the days of the big screen, historical epic then you’ll relish the opportunity to witness the visual feast that is 2023’s Napoleon.

From the get go, director Ridley Scott sweeps us into the chaos and bloodiness that was the French Revolution of the late 1700s.

Be warned Napoleon is very much an adults only movie.

How it missed out on receiving an ‘R-rating’ is anyone’s guess? But Ridley Scott is not one to tone down historical epics, if you recall his last historical epic – 2000’s Gladiator starring Russel Crowe.

The film is resplendent with liberal splashings of blood, gore and adult scenes… well it is a movie about the history of the French after all.

Joaquin Phoenix does a great job portraying the man who was to lead the French people through years of turmoil, as does his supporting cast, particularly Vanessa Kirby as the love of Napoleon’s life – Josephine.

It’s been reported that the budget for Napoleon was upwards of $130m, with some reports going as high as $200m and it shows, not just in the spectacular battle scenes, but in costume and set design.

As we witness Napoleon’s rise from a young Captain to Brigadier General through to First Consul during the French Revolution and finally to Emperor and ruler of the French, the domestic, diplomatic and battle scenes become more complex, intense and spectacular.

Particularly memorable are the battles of Egypt, Austerlitz, Russia and finally Waterloo.

With today’s Dolby Atmos surround sound system in most cinemas, you feel every cannon blast, hear every pin drop, every splash of blood and water, so you feel like you’re right there in the middle of the action.

It’s been a while we’ve seen a rendition of the Napoleonic era, the last one dedicated to the subject was 1970’s Waterloo starring Rod Steiger and prior to that the 1927 silent classic ‘Napoleon’ and I’m glad to say this modern version doesn’t disappoint.

Emperor or tyrant?

You make your mind up, either way it’s definitely one to see on the big screen.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rated: MA15+

Distributor: Sony Pictures

In cinemas now