The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Directed by Luc Besson
Written by Andrew Birkin & Luc Besson
Starring Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich,
Faye Dunaway, Dustin Hoffman, Pascal Greggory
My Advice: Worth a look but not what I had expected
Rating: *** out of *****
Where does one start? I think the fact I saw this along with
the phenomenal The Green Mile this weekend I may be tainted a bit. I'll be as fair as possible.
Joan (Jovovich) is a woman of many problems. She has witnessed the heinous rape and murder of her sister by some
brutal English fellows and, if that is not enough, she also believes that God speaks directly to her. God, it appears,
has given her the go ahead to avenge the death of her kin by starting a furious battle with England.
Heading off to take court with the Dauphin of France (Malkovich), she persuades him to give her an army, some weapons,
and a really bad haircut. The problem with this for me was the waffling between the "chosen by God" or
"just a nut case" scenarios. No one can decide if Joan is who she really thinks she is-The Messenger.
I found the film overly graphic -- the rape scene was a horror to watch and the battle scenes were gratuitously
bloody -- but my biggest disappointment came in the fact I walked out of the theater feeling I knew less about
Joan of Arc than I did going in.
It does have some merit. It's beautifully shot and the acting is wonderful, however the overall story needed some
severe fine-tuning to make me entirely happy.
But, that's just one reviewer's opinion. See it yourself. It's worth the look.