The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Facts and Figures
Run time: 148 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th November 1999
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Production compaines: Gaumont
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 51
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc Movie Review
Luc Besson, imaginative mind behind such notable works of art such as The Professional, La Femme Nikita, and The Big Blue, has created such a memorable mess of things with his newest release, The Messenger. A car crash of a movie headed straight for the Days of Heaven territory.
Joan of Arc, one of the most pinnacle figures of French history, has been reduced to a crazy chick with a God complex unseen since Alec Baldwin in Malice. Luc, put down the Braveheart script and try to write something interested and not convoluted like bad matinee popcorn that sticks in a person's teeth. Also, the last thing I need in a movie is Faye Dunaway doing her Mommie Dearest impression for the 56th time.
I wanted to understand the complexity of Joan of Arc's character - her trepidation in confirming her personal beliefs, her fears of battle and violence, her faith in God and country, her ability to stay so DAMN ravishing during battle - I really do. I DO! But I just can't. I just didn't want to after the first fifteen minutes. Besson's inability of winding together a cohesive plot structure and creating emotional connection to the main characters is the main cause for the downfall of the film. When Joan is faced with the dilemmas of conviction and execution of her leadership role, I am wondering what time I can get home to watch the hockey highlights.
On the positive side, the cinematography is amazing, the set and costume designs are impressive beyond words, and the battle scenes are notable but unfocused. One bright star in the cloudy sky is Tcheky Karyo, star of La Femme Nikita and GoldenEye, who provides concrete battle ideals that mesh together with Joan's abstract leadership ideals. At least Besson can rescue him from such films as Wing Commander.
Where are you Jean Reno, when we need you the most?
Milla: We cry with you.