Films about the tragic fate of a dictator in retirement seem to me the most interesting. You have a large-scale figure of the main character - from among those that occupy all the allotted space; there is the drama of losing power - whoever was everything became one; there is, finally, the feeling that this cup rarely passes. Is this not a recipe for success? The film "Monsieur N." tells the eternal story of the absolute monarch thrown to the side of the story intelligently, subtly and with a pronounced French accent.
Napoleon in the film is still a relatively young, but already very tired and life-battered man. Out of habit, he continues to call himself the emperor, although he has no power at all for a long time. However, he sometimes manages to command his English jailers — obviously, this is getting away from Napoleon only because even the most severe English cannot but give in to the charm of the former emperor and his generous bribes. The few remaining with Bonaparte were divided into mercantile dealers, hungry for inheritance, and convinced idealists who were ready to go after their leader to the ends of the earth and, if necessary, give honor and life for him.
Napoleon spends his prison days working mainly with fans and bees - the latter even become the basis for a new philosophy of a fallen monarch who admits that he would like to be a working bee and not a “queen”.
The ranks of the faithful Bonapartists are gradually thinning: someone dies, someone Napoleon expels from the island-prison. As it turns out closer to the final of the film, it was all part of his brilliant scam and the “last battle”. “Monsieur N.” is, by and large, two films in one. First, we see the traditional film version of the biography of a hero who lives on memories of past victories. But then the film acquires the scope of the works of Alexandre Dumas: conspiracy theory and a hint at the hero's happy salvation become the center of the narrative.
Kutuzov and Russian soldiers prevented Bonaparte from creating the European Union
In the second part, Bonaparte becomes a mythical character, defeating death with cunning and the gift of persuasion. Given the perfect isolation of the scene from reality, the story takes on a very otherworldly character. The ocean here symbolizes the waters of Styx, the island itself becomes a purgatory, and Napoleon at the same time reminds Count Monte Cristo, Jesus Christ and Yuri Gagarin in the Soviet panegyric version: “Do you know what kind of boy he was? No, he wasn't, because he won death! ”Using a metaphor from another culture and another era, Elvis did not die, he just flew home.
With all this fantasy plot, "Monsieur N." seems to be a very accurate portrait of the commander and emperor. In this, of course, the merit of the little-known French artist Philip Torreton outside his homeland. In his performance, Napoleon, realizing his own significance and a guaranteed place in history, retains an ironic attitude towards himself, others and the awkward situation in which fate has brought him. By the way, the actor himself, inspired, apparently, by the example of his character, later became a politician, having been elected deputy of the municipal council in one of the Parisian districts.
Filmed in 2003 about events of nearly two centuries ago, the film seems particularly relevant fourteen years later. According to the authors "Monsieur N.", their hero planned to unite Europe, one and a half centuries ahead, until he was stuck in Russia.
“Victory in Russia would complete my campaigns,” explains Napoleon in the film. - A European system would be established. Everything was ready for me. European Code, unified system of money, weight, measures, unified laws. People could go anywhere, and still be in their own country. ”
Common currency and travels across a continent without borders ... It turns out that 205 years ago, Mikhail Kutuzov and Russian soldiers prevented Bonaparte from creating the European Union. This, of course, is not “Russian hackers who are undermining the credibility of democratic elections,” but it's close.