The movie I chose to watch was “Vatel.” To put the plot simply a small province in France is bankrupt. The Prince of the province, (Don’t know his name,) encourages Louis the XIV to visit in hopes that if he can impress Louis than Louis will give him money. (It also had something to with going to was with Holland to boost France’s economy, but I don’t know how that turned out.) The Prince has an…Artistic Coordinator/Director, named Vatel, and while Louis was at the castle Vatel was in charge of meals, rooms, entertainment for the courtiers and their entourage and the overall appearance and comfort of the castle. Vatel is a very honest, kind and honorable man who believes that if HE can win over Louis then he will save his people and the province. He doesn’t see himself as a servant, but a man with a big job to do. So, Louis comes to town and it works. He is amazed by Vatel. Louis has a…mistress who is new to court life and is still pure who falls in love with Vatel and tries to help him when she can. Unknown to Vatel, Louis has won Vatel in a card game, because he wants Vatel to come and work for him in Versailles. When Vatel learns of his fate he is crushed and realized that he is seen as nothing more than a mere servant. Naturally Vatel is distraught and makes a life changing decision.
The film was good, but quite modern in lack of clarity. Many of the characters were undefined and I couldn’t decipher many of the character’s names. However, you were able to pick out those who were noble and those who were peasants, those who were royalty and those who served royalty. It took about 20min. To really settle down into the story line and plot. All of the actors were very loyal to their roles and status in the movie; they played their class, status, personality and humanity very well dependent upon their character.
The costumes were exquisite. They were very realistic, meaning that the costumes were real images from the past. It was very easy to tell the formal attire from informal attire, which clothing pieces are underclothes and the status of every character simply by what they wore in public. The court wore many layers of lavish and vibrant colored material, and of incredible length, where the lower class didn’t wear near as many layers nor were they colorful and pleasant to the eye and touch and the jackets and shirt’s were much shorter ending at the waist as opposed to the back of the knee. However, I did think that the Prince of the province was vastly underdressed and it was difficult to tell that he was royalty as compared to a simple nobleman.
I thought the costumes were very successful. They were fun to watch and helped to make people appear of the right status and the women looked very beautiful. I like movies that show the right time period and look like real images from the past and the costumes definitely show this. I would have liked to see more costumes however. I don’t think anyone had more that a set of underclothes and a set of top clothing. I find it hard to believe that the court wouldn’t change their clothes once in an entire week.