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  • Writer's pictureGareth Williams

None the wiser... Ridley Scott

Just a short message to wish everyone Season's Greetings and confess I finally got around to watching Napoleon at the cinema here on Skye. I was no clearer what Ridley Scott wanted me to think of Napoleon at the end of the film than at the beginning.

I am all for leaving interpretation up to the viewer (or reader) but for all the chronological approach of the film, and the undeniably impressive visual impact, I found myself checking my watch little more than half way through.

Far from obsessing about little errors of detail, I found the sweep of the film grating. Inevitably, trying to cram a life like Napoleon's into a single film is something of a fool's errand. What to leave out? What to gloss over? What to dwell on?

I suppose I just wanted a bit more focus on Bonaparte's motivations. What was going on in his head? Fortunately, we can get a really good insight by reading Max Gallo's masterful Napoleon quartet - which remain impressive even in translation from the original French.

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