|Starring:||Wojciech Pszoniak, Patrice Chereau, Gerard Depardieu, Roger Planchon, Angela Winkler, Jacques Villeret|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Run time:||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Rental release:||13 Mar 2006|
Most helpful review
fantasticBy nina from London , 01 May 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]Those looking for a film which can give them an insight into the men who led the French Revolution should watch this amazing film. It shows the breakdown in the relationship between the three main men (who did exist in real life); georges danton, maxime robespierre and camille desmoulins, and their heartbreak as what was their dream of a France where all men are equal, falls around their ears. Depardieu is fantastic, but the actor who plays robespierre also deserves considerable credit for playing the cool puritan. For a wider fictional take on the revlution try reading the book 'A place of greater safety' by hilary mantel.
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Clash of IdealsBy droog (56 reviews) from Lingfield,Surrey , 23 Jun 2013
[Highly rated reviewer]Wadja, a great director of atmosphere and moving vivacity, came into his own here in the battle for rights in the French revolution. As in most revolutions,grand ideals were trampled in the dirt as those opponents, like Danton, Desmoulins, Westermann and others suffered for the simple crime of wishing to refresh those ideals for which they had fought.
Danton was set in 1794, the year after Louis XV1 and Queen Marie Antoinette had both spat in the sack as revolutionary parlance put it. The 'Seagreen Incorruptiible', Robespierre had wanted the revolution to keep its momentum whilst proceeding to disregard its ideals of 'Liberty,Equality, Fraternity' . There was no rule of law, a proper Parliament elected democratically as it was probably inconvenient for Robespierre to have one. Instead, there was a rule of committee with confusing lines of demarcation as the film demonstrated. All lines,however,led to Robespierre - a vainglorious dictator.
Danton was a lawyer and equal to Robespierre in public oratory. He had returned to Paris from Arras to put the revolution back on the correct path as he, and others, saw it. The attempt ended in disaster. For the 'trials' of the 'traitors' accused of opposing the revolution read the show trials of so-called dissidents under both Communism and Fascism. High ideals ended in low amorality and savagery.
In films like 'Ashes and Diamonds' especially, Wajda had depicted conflicts in post-revolutionary Poland between the Nationalists and the Communists was reflected in the show trials of Danton and his colleagues. Gerard Depardieu, in one of his best roles, argued himself hoarse knowing that he was doomed by the rule by decree. He was fighting for his life according to the laws which he had helped make but which now threatened Robespierre's power as the epitome of the revolution - an arrogance shared by most dictatorial purists for millennia. Danton exudes life,charisma and a rollicking humanity whilst Robespierre demonstrated his Puritan,hairshirt mentality.
Admittedly,the film's wordiness was difficult to follow sometimes, but, looked on as yet another battle for human rights against an unelected dictatorship, one can view it as a view of corruption of the very ideals which spawned the revolution. It made powerful viewing and provided a lesson from history from which we can all gain.
Brush Up Your French HistoryBy Cato (772 reviews) from Lydbury North , 10 Jul 2012You need quite a good idea of French history around the time of the Revolution to even know who this character Danton was, because you don't get a lot of information about that which prededed the action in the film. 99% of it was shot indoors and most of the film is either Danton or Robespierre talking until at the end we see the coup de grace of M. Depardieu. He's good in his usual unsubtle Gallic way, eyes always flahing at the camera, and Wojciech Pszoniak is surprisingly subtle in his rendition of Maximilien, though I'm not sure if his French accent was his or dubbed. A bit of a marathon to the guillotine to be honest.
Hard work reading so many subtitlesBy MikeLaughton (113 reviews) from Oakham,England , 07 Dec 2011French revolutionaries turn against each other in this well acted but very wordy film. It is very stagey like a filmed play. Reading so many subtitles for such a wordy film is hard work.
I was very disappointed.
Mon DieuBy DJCampbell (13 reviews) , 01 Aug 2011Workmanlike and well produced historical account of the enmity between danton and Robespierre - it made my schoolboy French History come alive.
Dirty, gritty, real.....By themacs (46 reviews) from Bridport , 16 Feb 2010
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideEven disregarding the whole truth of history, this film was made with love. Every stitch in the costumes, every inch of grime on the shoes, every tear in the household fabric tells you that this was a story that needed to be on the screen. And it will tell you that, 'come the revolution', things will never end as the people want. Danton was a man of the people, but despite his dreams, he lost his head as did so many others that he and his fellow revolutionaries had sent to Madame Gillotine. The cast was faultless, and even though we thought it would be overlong, in fact every scene gripped and we never took our eyes off the screen.Worth some follow up at the library or on Wikipedia if you are interested in the real history of the French Revolution. For even after it, it was certain that for some citizens, it would result in more equality for them than for others.
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