Friday, May 02, 2008
Review of Vatel
M. Vatel was the cook for M. la Prince D'Conde. He produced spectacular festivities for a visit to Conde's estate, by king Louis XIV and 2000 other guests. After the event he committed suicide with a sword. He was the inventor of Chantilly Creme.
Passion, Seduction, Betrayal? No not really. Little passion, no real suduction, and the only betrayal was Conde who bet his cook in a card game with the king.
The movie is about that last gigantic feast. It is a visual feast and the acting is also well done too. However the story, as it is portrayed is quite thin. The characters, though splendidly portrayed, are not introduced well and if you are not a connoisseur of history a lot is going to be lost on the average viewer. I read a review that said the story is hard to follow. Well it is rather easy to follow if you know the history, but if you do not know Conde and his relationship to the king, or the nature of the king himself, it is kind of hard to understand.
Tim Roth is typically caustic in his role, Uma Thurman would definitely have turned Louis' head. And Depardieu is superb as Vatel himself. The supporting cast is also spot on.
The music sucked. Of all the courts of Europe that you could make a movie about, Louis' court provides an immense reportior. Particularly music for grand festivities. The music dudes for this film, I guess were too ignorant and used Rameau, who wasn't born yet, and Handel who was not born yet either. If Lully saw this film he'd be pissed.
Other than the music the movie a lot of 17th century fun.
Movie gets a 6 out of 10