There have been a lot of films set during the colonial era in history. Most of them are about America and its revolution but occasionally there have been films that depict this era that isn’t about America. One of them is the biopic, Amadeus. Chevalier is another musical biopic that takes place in this era in time. Except most people don’t know who Joseph Bologhe aka Chevalier de St. George is. That’s why this movie is here. So afterward they will know who he is.
Joseph Bologne also known as Chevalier De St. George (Kelvin Harrison Jr., Waves) Was a slave boy who was dropped off at an art school in France where he was allowed to hone his skills as a violinist and fencer where he grew up to be undefeated in this craft. His most impressive ability is his composing skills. He even outduels Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. He has a braggadocious style that tends to get him into trouble, but it also shows him who he was truly meant to be.
In a movie about music, the music has to be first-rate, or the whole foundation of what it stands on collapses under the weight of itself. I’m here to say the music in this movie is very good. I’m not an authority on classical music but I know good music when I hear it. These compositions were so good. I was emotionally invested every time I heard various operas and multiple musical performances by the main character and others.
There are other characters that play a role in this man’s life. He gets into a feud with another composer for a prestigious post as the conductor of the Paris Opera House. So he needed a singer who can exude his words perfectly as written. So he gets a woman who has an angelic voice Marie Josephine (Samara Weaving, Ready or Not) The problem is she is married and has an overbearing husband, Montalembert, (Martin Csskas) that doesn’t want her involved with Chevalier. Another character who plays a big part in his life is Marie Antionette (Lucy Boynton) She basically gives this man his career, but eventually takes it away at the end.
With this movie being a period piece and a biopic you get that Shakespearean deal to it. His works have left such an idyllic mark on the world. His art mixed with the music and story of this film makes it a movie worth seeing. There are so many dramatic moments that had me shaking my head because I was so on board with this man and his career. The world of France during its revolution wasn’t ready for such a great human being who looked and acted in such a way. He was way before his time.
One of the things I love about film is learning new things and watching films about subjects I am not that familiar with. This story was one of those types of films. It showed me about music and a part of history that is so new to me. The performance by Harrison Jr., a bright young talent in Hollywood, is brilliant. He exudes confidence because of this man. The supporting work by Weaving, Boynton, and Csokos is very good. They add a great element to a film that has a lot of things going on in it already. The period look and feel brought me into it from the beginning. And of course, the costumes, hairstyling, and makeup are Academy Award nomination worthy.
Dan Skip Allen