The Edge of the Blade (2023)

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The Edge of the Blade (2023). 1h 41m

“I discovered u0026quot;Edge of the Bladeu0026quot; (aka Une Affaire du0026#39;honneur) at the Hong Kong French Film Festival, Vincent Perez was on hand to present his latest feature as director and actor. The film is a capable, entertaining and very good-looking period drama that borders on the swashbuckler, a genre that made Perez famous. The fights are very well-handled, and the historical background is a fascinating one: on the one hand the craze for duels following freedom of the press laws (now journalists could freely tarnish peopleu0026#39;s reputation), and first-wave feminism on the other. Both aspects, however, remain in the background and subservient to a main plot centering on male revenge dramatics thatu0026#39;s not exactly enthralling. Considering who the real Marie-Rose Astié de Valsayre was (a freethinker, a doctor, a composer, a duellist, a passionate feminist), itu0026#39;s a shame to make her into a supporting character who can only watch the last duel from a distance. The protagonist, on the other hand, is a cliché war-scarred, hieratic veteran who speaks like a shaolin master and develops a vague crush on Ms. De Valsayre (cue aborted love story). That, I believe, is not the ideal treatment of the character. Perez himself in the Qu0026amp;A session after the screening made it clear how incredible her life had been. My thought then was, hey, somebody should make a movie about her! In the end, u0026quot;Edge of the Bladeu0026quot; made me want to watch that as-yet-inexistent movie, which is perhaps its greatest accomplishment.”


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