What a ride that was, hm? Love, sex, murder, torture, blood, plotting, we had it all.
I am utterly grateful for everyone who read my ramblings here during the last weeks and I hope that, on a occasion or two, I was able to explain a thing or two. Writing it was quite fun and just as demanding for me. It is one thing to simply watch something and then to talk about it and a other to watch something and to write about it. I have never done that before and hope the outcome it is not too awful.
This will most likely be my last Versailles related post for a bit, before I move on to the usual schedule of 17th Century gossip and events, and it’s purpose shall be to reflect on what I have seen….
So, let’s reflect….
Did I like it?
I did. The whole show looks amazing. The sets are amazing, so are the costumes, the general composition of things, the music, the acting and the actors.
As I said in Episode One, whoever chose that song for the intro should get an award. The people responsible for altering the look of Versailles to made it look like it probably did back in the days, should get one too. I love these shots.
The costume designers should just as well, along with the set designers.
There are so many little details, which are just pure awesomeness. All the paintings for example, and the fact that I saw one specific painting twice. Once in Louis’ rooms and once in Philippe’s. One of their childhood portraits. I’m so easily satisfied sometimes.
What about the actors and actresses?
George did an amazing job with Louis, and I am rather picky with my Louis’ as previously mentioned. He has the looks, he has the air, he has the everything.
So has Alex as Monsieur. My favourite Monsieur actor so far was Murray Lachlan Young as the Vatel Monsieur, watch that movie if you have not done so already, but now it is Alex. He is brilliant. There might be some things I do not quite agree with, but that considers the way the character was written, and not the exceptional performance of Alex. I can say the same about Evan as the Chevalier, who clearly has some of the most witty and brilliant lines in the show. Stuart Bowman. Wow. Same for Tygh Runyan, Noémie Schmidt, Anna Brewster, Amira Casar and everyone else. They were all just so very good. I had goosebumps, I laughed, I suffered, I went “Awww” and “Ewww”, I was surprised and touched. It was inspiring.
Monsieur and the Chevalier, of course. Louis and Montespan. Beatrice and Sophie. Fabien. So very awesome. Bontemps. Gosh, I love him. Jacques the Gardener, everyone loves him.
What about the story?
This was the very thing I was worried the most about. I do love history and especially the time of Louis XIV. I love it to the degree, that there is not one day were I am not, in some way, in contact with it. It is a big part of my life and who I am and has been so for many years now. If you spend so much time with something, you grow protective of it. I’m quite protective and during the last years I saw so many bad history movies and shows that I feared for the worst. The question was how much history would there be and how much fiction, and in what balance? More fiction or more history? Would the characters be true to their historical selves or would they be altered to appeal more to the audience?
Now as I write this, I have seen all Episodes at least twice and I can say the balance of history vs fiction is not too bad. There are a lot of events in the show that are inspired by history, sometimes more or less. There are also elements of fiction, sometimes more or less possible. Some of these fictional things are a little bit too fictional for me, but all in all, the balance is alright.
One can see what the actual events were, which inspired some of the things we saw. Some of it was done in a different way, some of it was altered to fit into the fictional parts better, and it all works just perfectly the way it is.
The show moves fast, sometimes too fast for my taste, but I believe it is something a show these days must do to appeal.
Can I understand my fellow history nutcases?
I totally can. They are just as protective as I am of what they love. They feared the same I did. I can understand it when they say they are disappointed by the show, but I can also see the show for what it is, meaning very good. Most have a bit of mixed feelings about it.
As I said, what we see works perfectly for the show as it is and is well done, but it would have worked just as well without the fictional parts and by being even closer to history.
The story of Louis XIV and his court, as it was, is great. There is so much drama. I share their opinion that the show would have been just as great, if they followed the events of, let’s say three years, and put them into one season. We have seen so many things based on events of so many years, which by themselves would have made an awesome story. Just look at the death of Minette. By itself, with the right dramatic build up and all the rumors surrounding it, executed as it was, would have been just as good. The whole thing doesn’t even need anything fictional to make it more interesting. I can say the same for the War of Devolution. There are so many interesting things that happened during it. It would have slowed the show and in my opinion it would even give it more depth. Just think of Monsieur bored in his tent, decorating and doing strolls with the Chevalier, heart-eyed, and about to fall in love with him, while his brother is caught between three women and a war. Louise chasing the carriage of the Queen. Montespan acting as if she has no interest at all for the King and then sneaking into his tent…..
Yes, I know it is a show and not a history lesson, and as I said is works and is well done just as it is, but think about it for a moment….
My favourite Episodes?
One and Two. They were directed by the brilliant Jalil Lespert and just perfect in the way they were done, what they showed, and how they showed it.
What and who do I want to see next season?
Liselotte, my fellow German bigmouth. A Mancini or two, you can’t leave them out. La Voisin. I would like to see a more happy Monsieur. He wasn’t that much of a raging ball of fluff. At least not all the time and along with it, I would like to see a bit more general casualness. A bit more of court life, as in balls or amusements. I would like to see a happy Monsieur in company of his mignons and doing silly games, while the Chevalier casually puts them back into place when they get too bold. I would like to see a bit more of a witty Montespan using her sharp tongue as well. I certainly don’t want to see anything involving poison and a certain Chevalier, we had that so often now…. go for the Dutch. I certainly also do not want to see brother plotting against brother. Do not do that. Seriously.
Do I look forward to Season Two?
I do and I do look forward to rambling about it again. I look forward to all the excitement coming with it. I look forward to see new on set pictures and to wondering what will be shown and what not… To the #Asks on Twitter, I hope they will be done again, and the madness that comes with them. I look forward to George and Alex having to deal with it all, and us, as well, and I hope that one day, I might be able to meet them somewhere and thank them for everything.
Thank you to everyone involved in the creating of Versailles and congratulations on making an awesome show. Thank you to the awesome Versailles fan account on Twitter for keeping us all updated. Thank you to Jules for watching and discussing it with me. Thank you all for reading.
May the Sun be with you…. the Moon as well.