The Three Musketeers: Milady (2023)

December 13th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Martin Bourboulon | France, Adventure drama 115′

The second part of this spectacular sortie with our four French Musketeers opens in 1627 and this time puts Milady at the centre of the swashbuckling, bodice-ripping epic originally penned by Alexandre Dumas.

Once again Martin Bourboulon directs a script by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière. There is a brief catch-up with Part I in the opening scenes and the emphasis here is on mood and manoeuvres rather than an involving and memorable storyline – not helped by the break between films. Refer to the novel if you want a more involving experience, although the our hot heroes certainly make for this enjoyable to watch.

Eva Green is mistressful as Milady de Winter, a fictional character who features in the later part of Alexandre Dumas’ original novel. But there’s nothing timid about this tumultuous temptress who is the hired assassin of Cardinal Richelieu. In the first part we saw her throw herself from a clifftop but she survived to tell the tale and is not going to give up without a fight in seducing the sultry and tousled hair D’Artagnan – and who could blame her – but he is desperate to defend a pouty paramour of his own in the shape of Constance Bonacieux (Lyna Khoudri).

Once again England is the enemy and Milady is plotting to engage France in a complex war aimed at ridding the country of King Louis XIII (Louis Garrel really looks the part with his wig and moustache). This is cloak and dagger stuff and involves plenty of sword fights with D’Artagnan (François Civil), Athos (Vincent Cassel), Porthos (Pio Marmaï) and Aramis (Romain Duris complete with eyeliner) all pulling out all the stops. There is a surprise in store for Athos who has his own romantic issues to tackle but he’s keeping his powder dry in this eventful capitulation to Part I.

Eva Green makes for a mysterious Milady. Smirking and smouldering seductively she joins a long list of actresses who have played the character on screen. Most notable are Barbara La Marr alongside Douglas Fairbanks in Fred Niblo’s 1921 production. Lana Turner vyed with Gene Kelly in George Sidney’s 1948 drama; Faye Dunaway had two goes at the role in the early seventies with a starry cast of Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch and Christopher Lee. French actress Emmanuelle Beart featured in a TV mini series in 2005, and Mila Jovovitch played her in Paul W S Anderson’s  2011 epic which was not deemed as success. @MeredithTaylor

From 15 December in French K and Irish cinemas.

Copyright © 2024 Filmuforia