The Middle Ages in Europe lasted about ten centuries, between darker and more prosperous phases. It is true that we, here in Brazil, are more familiar with the medieval histories of Portugal and Spain, given our historical ties with these countries, and with those coming from France, Italy and England, being given the large volume of film production from these countries, tell their stories, their own legends and stories. Offering an alternative in this common axis, the feature film ‘Medieval’ recently premiered on Netflix, whose objective is to tell a little about what this period was like for the citizens of Hungary, then a region of Bohemia, today the Czech Republic.
After the death of the King of Bohemia and the Roman Emperor Charles IV, parts of Europe descended into chaos, engulfed in war, pestilence and famine. The Catholic Church also plunged into chaos, simultaneously electing two popes: one in Rome and the other under the protection of the King of France, in Avignon. It was believed that only the coronation of a new emperor could restore the rule of law, but Wenceslaus IV (Karel Roden), son of Charles IV, chosen for the post, was drowning in debt. He can only be crowned if he travels to Rome to receive the crown from the pope. Those who support the second pope in France try to prevent his coronation, so Lord Boresh (Michael Caine) and King Sigismund (Matthew Goode) plot the kidnapping of young Katherine (Sophie Lowe), niece of the King of France and wife of the cruel Rosenberg (Til Schweiger), who tortures and kills citizens against his orders. For the mission, Lord Boresh and King Sigismund hire the mercenary group Jan Zizka (Ben Foster), not knowing that it would end up changing the course of Bohemian history, sparking a veritable revolution among the local citizens and making Zizka the greatest military leader. of the history of this country.
If the unsuspecting viewer chooses “Medieval” without knowing the history of Hungary, they will likely be confused by the plot, because, although well produced, the screenplay by Petr Bok, Petr Jakl Sr. and Petr Jákl makes an introduction (all about the two popes and Charles IV) which does not appear in the film, even indirectly. It takes some time for the viewer to understand more or less what is going on (there are people plotting kidnapping, the king’s brother is against the king, there is a bad guy who kills generals and a good warrior who kills for money, all centered around a woman who is treated as “the chosen one”), so that historical details are lost, turning the movie experience for the common viewer into an entertainment of fair time, only with lots of violence and good battle scenes.
Take the time to watch:
Petr Jákl does a good production with his film, with beautiful aerial shots, decent costumes and focused supporting actors. However, in addition to the confusing story that lasts more than two hours, it brings a lost Michael Caine and Ben Foster as an impassive protagonist, without expressing any emotion. Without forgetting the translation choice of Netflix, which put subtitles in Portuguese by conjugating in the 2nd person plural (you come, go, etc.), and in the original the English used is contemporary. That is to say, it is better doubled.
For fans of series like ‘Vikings’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Medieval’ is the right movie to pass the time. In fact, with so much history, it should have been a series. Maybe it will in the future, given the success it had on Netflix.
Be sure to watch: