This medieval epic film innovatively incorporated woke gender politics, following the latest trends, by embracing the #MeToo movement and hiring a female screenwriter aiming to add an anachronistic feminist perspective to the screenplay originally written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
The Last Duel was directed by Ridley Scott, and it reportedly cost more than $100 million to make, however, the movie faces an uphill battle to win back its costs. According to the Hollywood trade publications, the main reason of the failure of this epic movie is the inability of older audiences to percept all the newest social tendencies along with continuing to stay away from cinemas amid the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. Critics claim that ignoration of the movie’s aggressive woke pandering might as well be the factor that repelled audiences.
Both writers, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have played up the movie’s feminist character. The Last Duel had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. As reported by the press, at the festival Ben Affleck made a statement, saying:
“The great illusion of chivalry was that while it was about protecting the innocent female, it was in fact a code that denied women’s basic humanity.”
The actor also mentioned that European countries of the time ‘didn’t view women for many many centuries as human beings.’ Yet, Ben decided not to reference any of the powerful female rulers of that historical period.
Matt Damon also gave an explanation to the decision of hiring a female screenwriter. He said:
“In the male-centred stories, women appear when the men need them for something; otherwise, they are ignored. They are property, they are not human beings.”
Interestingly, the production hired filmmaker Nicole Holofcener, who is famous for her bizarre indie dramas, among which are such creations as Friends with Money and Lovely & Amazing, to write the scenes that involved the movie’s main character, played by actress Jodie Comer.
According to Nicole Holofcener, the production cooperated with #MeToo groups and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. As she told the press:
“We listened to them; they saw screenings; they pointed out some tricky parts. We addressed them. We really wanted to get it right.”
In general, the reviews, which included one in The Washington Post, praised The Last Duel for trying to fight some modern problems like, for instance, ‘mansplaining’ and ‘toxic masculinity.’ Even The New York Times applauded the filmmakers for creating ‘what may be the big screen’s first medieval feminist revenge saga.’