Napoleon – Brutal and Confused Movie Hits Theaters

Napoleon Review

From a humble birth to his rise to the throne of France and two exiles – the life of Napoleon Bonapart is one that we’ve all heard about at least from our history classes. In the new Ridley Scott film about his life, we get a look at his life, at how his military strategies may have had a wider impact on the country and history than we all know.

Napoleon is portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the former military man as one who is needy, overbearing, and focuses on nothing more than his ego – despite the costs to everyone else. Much like other notable men, his need for greatness and uncompromising takes over and directs every moment and decision in his life.

Napoleon Review

The military costs aren’t the only thing the movie highlights. One of the most notable is his relationship with Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). From accepting her past to controlling and possessing her, even after he forces her to divorce. The control that he held over her life and the support she had to give him after being abused and thrown away. The costs she had to pay through her whole life for a man, who wanted nothing more than to posses her. Kirby’s depiction of the up and down relationship and the personal power struggle for Josephine is palpable – and her cost was just as high as many of the others that crossed Napoleon’s path in his lifetime.

Napoleon Review

The movie is brutal, but that can be expected from any movie that is going from battle to battle throughout the decades. And even with that, it’s not fully clear if the movie is trying to idolize the work that Napoleon did or if they’re trying to show the damage that one man created. It ends on a list of the battles he led and the lives lost, so it almost seems like it’s the latter, but the movie still tries to paint him in a good light.

It makes you wonder just what the appeal of bringing Napoleon’s story to the screen was for Ridley Scott or the motives behind some of the decisions that were made in the movie. Told over the several decades, and through letters to and from his first wife Josephine, it highlights his ego and the cost it had on thousands of people that he barely had contact with.

Napoleon is in theaters everywhere later this week.

Overall Rating:

Three and a Half Stars Review

About Napoleon:


Napoleon is a spectacle-filled action epic that details the checkered rise and fall of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, played by Oscar®-winner Joaquin Phoenix. Against a stunning backdrop of large-scale filmmaking orchestrated by legendary director Ridley Scott, the film captures Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed.


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