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The Diva's
"The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" Review

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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
Viewed at Loews' Oaktree Cinemas
Rated R; running time of 148 minutes.
Directed by: Luc Besson
Written by: Luc Beeson and Andrew Birkin Genre: Drama


The Digest

This review is going to be fairly short.

The King of France and The King of England signed a treaty. The terms stated that when The King of France died, The King of England would rule both England and France. The problem is that they both died with in a few weeks of each other, leaving the monarchy to an infant English king. France wasn't having it. So began the war. England was kicking France's butt. The French was disillusioned and moral was low.

Meanwhile, little Joan is running around the church having confession several times a day and visions. She claims that an angel speaks to her and has given her a mission but she doesn't know what it is yet. If you ask me, anyone who goes to confession all day every day needs to be seen by a psychiatrist. By the time Joan is 19, people know her very well. France is still fighting England and according to French folklore a maiden from Laurens will lead the French army to victory. Well that fits Joan to a "T'

Joan demands an audience with the would be king Charles VII after picking him out of a crowd, he is impressed enough to grant her the audience. He gives her an Army, which she leads to victory, securing him on the thrown then his turns his back on her and allows the English to toast her.

The Digest

Two and one half hours. That's how long this movie was and I can tell you that after 90 minutes I wanted to be burned at the stake. I was like, "just burn her already so I can go home." Prior to watching this movie, I really dug ole Joanie. I thought she was cool. If I were to use this film to get a clear picture of who Joan was, I'd say she was completely nuts. To me, this film showed her to be a weird religious fanatic who had one too many magic mushrooms. Seriously. Joanie was OFF.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but The English and The French were nasty. Dental Hygiene was not a primary concern. How can you kiss someone with black and rotten teeth?!?!? One soldier was going to kill a prisoner for his grill (grill is slang for teeth). Eewww! But I don't blame him! I was like, "Steal the grill - Steal the grill! Go 'head on and get you some new teeth." And the "fashions"! The French women used to shave their hair halfway back. So they had this big huge cranium staring at you. And the table manners! They had bowls and spoons but would still eat off the table. I can only imagine how funky they were.

As far as the movie goes, I was more than irritated that 90% of the cast didn't even try to be authentic. John Malkovich played King Charles and he didn't even attempt an accent. He could have at least called his son "Lou-wee" the French pronunciation of Louis instead of "Lou-is" Here he is, The King of France sounding like he just left Kansas for the first time in his life. The same with Dustin Hoffman. Faye Dunaway was the only one who was halfway believable.

The Directive

At any rate, this movie was too dang long for it not to be awesome. 2 and 1/2 hours is a long time to sit through crap.


Girlfriend was a few fries short of a happy meal.

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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 1999
EMAIL: thediva@3blackchicks.com
ICQ: 8690410

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More 3 Black Chicks...™ review(s) for this week:
(movies released on 11/12/99):
The Diva's reviews:
"The Messenger: Joan Of Arc" | "Felicia's Journey" | "Toy Story 2" (sneak preview; released 11/24/99)

Bams' reviews:
"The Messenger: Joan Of Arc" | "Light It Up"

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