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'The Last Duel': The reason behind clash between friends in Ridley Scott's movie

Ridley Scott's latest war epic is one of the greatest historical films to be shot recently
UPDATED NOV 29, 2021
Jodie Comer in 'The Last Duel' (Instagram - @jodiecomer_gallery)
Jodie Comer in 'The Last Duel' (Instagram - @jodiecomer_gallery)

'The Last Duel' is 2021's latest historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. The storyline is based on the 2004 book, 'The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France', written by Eric Jager.

The film is set in medieval France and stars Matt Damon as Jean de Carrouges, Adam Driver as squire Jacques Le Gris, and Jodie Comer as Jean's wife, Marguerite. Ben Affleck stars in a supporting role as Count Pierre d'Alencon.


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In the war epic, the series of instances and events that eventually lead up to the duel is divided into three extensive and descriptive chapters, for the audience to get a better understanding of why the duel was so momentous. Throughout the movie, the character developments reflect the perspectives of the three main characters. 


The movie opens with two knights standing side by side; one welcomes his firstborn son and soon-to-be heir, while the other acts as his godfather. Shortly after a decade, the two men who we know as Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, meet in Paris for the hyped, highly-anticipated duel that is viewed by many spectators. By then, the former friends’ relationship has gone to the dogs, what with a woman and a supposed rape allegation being the crux of the big fight. 


The sole reason for the duel is Marguerite, Jean's wife, who had accused Le Gris of raping her. On the decided date, Carrouges and Le Gris meet, amidst a massive crowd presided over by none other than King Charles VI of France. Meanwhile, Marguerite is wearing all black as has her eyes glued to what will soon be known as the greatest duel of all time.

All the while, she's pretty much aware that her husband’s defeat would ultimately be viewed as proof of perjury, which would in turn vindicate her attacker. This would ultimately result in her execution by being burned at the stake — for the crime of bearing false witness. We clearly get to see what it was once like — the working of a trial by combat and how sexual violence was prosecuted in a medieval society.

'The Last Duel' was released on October 14, 2021.