Miss Game of Thrones? Check out the French movie La Reine Margot
With tons of blood, lust and political schemes, La Reine Margot (or Queen Margotin the English translation) that which we need to satisfy our thirst for all these things while there is no Game of Thrones on the television. The first season of House of the Dragon has come to an end, and it may be a while before any hard news about Season 2 comes our way. This French historical drama, however, seems almost tailor-made to fill this Chairs gap in television. The obvious catch, of course, is that there are no dragons, unfortunately. But that’s the only one, too.
Until now, it is widely known George RR Martin based on key moments and elements thereof A song of ice and fire Download the series of novels about true historical facts. The whole foundation behind House of the Dragon, for example, comes from a real conflict in English history. So there’s no better way to delve inside the author’s mind than into a historical drama that has all the elements we know and love from Game of Thrones licensing. There’s a little (or a lot) of everything in there La Reine Margot: sex, blood, mad kings, factional conflict, parents plotting against their children for their own political gain, butt heads, unlikely friendships, you name it. Besides dragons, of course.
What is ‘La Reine Margot’ about?
The film is set in France at the end of the 16th century. By that time, the country was divided between two main religious and political groups, the Catholics and the Huguenots, a variant of the Protestant faith. King Charles IX (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a member of the House of Valois and has no heirs, largely due to his neurotic and anxious personality – a type of Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney). With a very weak political mind, he is always moved by both sides: the Catholics represented by his mother, Catherine de Medici (Virna Lisi), and the leader of the Huguenots, Admiral Coligny (Jean-Claude Brialy). As a result of this conflict, tensions are high, with Huguenots always in fear of the Catholics and vice versa.
To please everyone’s senses, Catherine, historically nicknamed “the Serpent Queen,” due to her abilities that are very similar to those of Tywin Lannister (Charlie’s Dance) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), arranging the marriage of her only daughter, Margot of Valois (Isabella Adjani), to the noble Huguenot Henri of Bourbon (Daniel Auteuil), King of Navarre. Anyone who has ever seen Game of Thrones know at this point that weddings are a powerful political tool, and, also, that those who organize them tend to have their own ulterior motives more often than not. With Catriona that is no different, and she knows that the wedding will bring most of the Huguenot leaders to Paris.
Caught in the middle of this turmoil is Margot, who has shades of Rhaenyra Targaryen (Miley Alcock and Emma D’Arcy) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). She is Catherine’s only daughter, and it is understood that she and her brothers often sleep together, like Targaryens (and some Lannisters too). She is a young, cruel woman who greatly enjoys the pleasures of life, especially the carnal ones, but, because of her youth, she still lacks the malice in her her mother is so famous. She married out of duty, but is now a key player in a political dispute that costs the lives of many unsuspecting players, even the life of her lover, the formidable Joseph de La Môle (Vincent Perez).
How is it like ‘Game of Thrones’?
There were many factors that contributed Game of Thrones turn into the phenomenon he was last. Yes, we all remember how it ended, but, even after that that we still sat in front of our televisions to endure more of it House of the Dragon, right? Some say it’s because of the dragons, but it’s not. Well, no all off, anyway.
A good example is the scene in which Olenna Tyrell confesses to Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that she is the one behind the purple wedding (remember that there are weddings of many colors in Westeros). How many gasps were uttered at once? That’s because we, as a collective audience, love drama. This is what gets us going, what makes us invest our emotions in a story and love the characters we love. Game of Thrones the genius of George RR Martin was behind it. For his benefit, La Reine Margot originally a fictional adaptation of historical events written by none other Alexandre Dumasone of the masters of French literature, the man behind such timeless works The number of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. Dumas will understand about plot and betrayal, and love and lust, and La Reine Margot that’s where everyone meets, like Martin’s A song of ice and fire.
The complex drama of Game of Thrones so strong not only because of the characters that make it, but also because of the production value of the series itself. Reading deals with imagination, but actually seeing places like Winterfell, the Red Keep, the Wall, and so on, is a real point of screen change. Although not much was going on in Paris in the New Age for its benefit, La Reine Margot making the most of what was there. Settings like the Louvre (then a royal palace) are brought to life with many passages, corridors and hidden passageways, enough to make Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and young Rhaenyra goes crazy exploring.
That value is also added when talking about the visual aspects of production. La Reine Margot depicts one of the most infamous events in French history, the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, when a wedding was used as a pretext for killing. So just like the Red Wedding, the film needed a huge structure around it not only to make it happen, but also to make it look bloody and real enough. And it happens, with many duels, stabbings and head-to-heads taking place throughout the story.
What is good about it too La Reine Margot that too, just like Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, has official recognition from the industry in the form of awards. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1995, as well as a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. She also won the Jury Prize at Cannes, with Virna Lisi taking home the prize for best actress for her portrayal of Catherine de Medici, the Serpent Queen.
So La Reine Margot it may not be a Hollywood production, but it looks like one, with huge sets, dozens of extras and well-crafted sequences and characters. There are no dragons, unfortunately, but it makes up for their lack with a strong story very similar to George RR Martin.