Last night, the BBC premiered the newest film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s historical fiction, The Three Musketeers. If you are a fan of the book, please don’t expect the plot of this version to follow that, as it is substantially different.
It began well, as everyone looked pretty filthy (kudos to the crew) and we first see the d’Artagnan father and son as they stop at an inn. In true Seventeenth-century style, we saw slop being tossed out the window, yucky streets, and talk of fleas and lice. In the book, d’Artagnan goes to Paris to join the musketeers and there he has confrontations with three musketeers – Porthos, Athos, and Aramis and engages to meet each in a duel. This version is not like that, though there is a brief bit of sword-fighting between the four.
D’Artagnan was interestingly portrayed by Luke Pasqualino (the same chap who played Lucrezia Borgia’s lover Paolo in sadly-axed The Borgias).
The rest of the cast were great – and I hadn’t seen some of them in anything before (always a relief to see some unknowns – makes things a lot more realistic!).
I thought the soundtrack was fun and perky.
The dresses were lovely, though I have to say some articles of clothing looked far more Elizabethan and Jacobean than 1630s, but that’s just me.
Before I conclude with this review, I would like to say that the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi (whom you may recall gave a wonderful performance as King Charles I in The Devil’s Whore) was, I found, quite seductive as the scheming Cardinal Richelieu. That was definitely something I hadn’t expected, as all previous Richelieu’s seemed very creepy.
In short, this was a swashbuckling, romp very loosely based on The Three Musketeers, but still fun. I look forward to the next episode!
If, however, you want a version that is plotted according to the book, I would suggest the Richard Chamberlain adaptation from the 1970s instead.