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Film / Revenge of the Musketeers

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La Fille de D'Artagnan (literally The Daughter of D'Artagnan — the title Revenge of the Musketeers is used in some English speaking countries, others used Dartagnan's Daughter) is a 1994 French swashbuckler film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by Tavernier, Jean Cosmos and Michel Léviant. It is an original story that borrows elements to both the novel The Three Musketeers and its sequel, Twenty Years After, by Alexandre Dumas.

In the year 1654 in the kingdom of France, an African slave escapes shipment to The Americas by running in the woods and ends up in a convent. The slavers, the Duke of Crassac (Claude Rich) and his mysterious henchwoman the "Lady in Red", chase the slave there and one of their goons ends up killing the mother superior. The young Éloïse D'Artagnan (Sophie Marceau), daughter of the legendary musketeer (Philippe Noiret), witnesses the murder, and thinks Crassac conspires to assassinate the young king Louis XIV.

Followed by a bumbling young poet named Quentin La Misère (played by Nils Tavernier), Héloïse travels to Paris to find her father so he can help her unfolding the conspiracy against the king before it's too late.

Revenge of the Musketeers provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Éloïse is very good at fencing. After the final confrontation with the conspirators, her father congratulates her because she defeated several skilled fighters.
  • Action Girlfriend: Quentin La Misère was poet and a pamphleteer. He meets Éloïse, an Action Girl, and he follows her in her adventures.
  • Age Lift: The Real Life Charles de Batz de Castelmore aka D'Artagnan was around 40 in 1654. Philippe Noiret was 63 when the movie was filmed. Then again, it's still in line with the Anachronism Stew in Alexandre Dumas' novels.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Églantine de Rochefort wants to sell Éloïse as a slave. Crassac intervenes and says that he wants to keep her for himself. Later, he announces to the conspirators that he will marry her.
  • Apophenia Plot: Much of the chaos in the film stems from two pieces of paper that are circulating: a laundry list and really bad romantic poem. However, because the various factions involved are already paranoid and looking for hidden messages, they keep interpreting these documents to mean all kinds of things that they don't.
  • Ash Face: D'Artagnan enters the king's bedroom through the chimney. His face is covered with ash and Louis XIV thinks that he is a black man.
  • Assassination Attempt: Crassac plans to kill King Louis XIV during his coronation ceremony.
  • Back Stab: D'Artagnan ends up skewering Crassac in the back with his sword. Crassac was about to kill Éloïse so he had to do something, and even apologizes to Crassac for that unsportsmanlike action.
  • Bar Brawl: One happens in an inn when Éloïse has left the convent and is on the way to Paris to meet her father.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Cardinal Mazarin frequently speaks Italian and he is not translated.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: D'Artagnan spends much of the movie objecting to Quentin's project to marry his daughter. Éloïse instantly weaponizes that attitude by threatening to do just that.
  • Canon Foreigner: There's no mention of D'Artagnan having a daughter anywhere in Dumas' canon, let alone historically.
  • Cassandra Truth: Granted, Éloïse just guesses that Crassac is conspiring against the king and does so completely out of nowhere, but it turns out to be true, and people have a hard time taking her seriously until serious evidences emerge.
  • Climbing Climax: The final confrontation between Crassac and Éloïse happens on the roof of a church.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Éloïse, her father D'Artagnan and his fellow musketeers can take out large groups of henchmen, as showed for example in the scene where they attack the boat.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Éloïse is Crassac's prisoner. She manages to escape on her own: she persuades Églantine to free her.
  • Designated Girl Fight: The only girl in the group of heroes (Éloïse) and the only girl in the group of villains (Églantine) fight each other when they meet in the convent.
  • The Conspiracy: Crassac and his followers seek to assassinate King Louis XIV.
  • Dirty Old Man: Crassac wants to grope Éloïse any chance he gets, and the Lady in Red prevents him from doing so.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Crassac is played very theatrically by Claude Rich.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Athos fakes being one-eyed and wears a black ribbon over one eye. He occasionally switches it from right to left and back because he has two good eyes.
  • Faking the Dead: Athos faked his own death. He is now an agent of Mazarin.
  • Gilligan Cut: Porthos refuses to follow d'Artagnan and he repeats "no" several times in front of Planchet. Cut to Porthos repeating "yes" in a coach with d'Artagnan, his daughter and Planchet. He seems to have been persuaded by the food brought by Planchet for the trip.
  • Hates Wearing Dresses: Éloïse does not like wearing dresses. She prefers wearing pants. Her father insists that she should wear dresses.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: In the end, Églantine de Rochefort betrays Crassac and frees Éloïse.
  • Historical Domain Character: The Musketeers themselves are (very loosely) based in historical characters. More famous historical characters appear in the film: Louis XIV and Mazarin.
  • Historical In-Joke: The scene where Mazarin gives Louis XIV some advice suggests that many policies of the king (like the creation of the Palace of Versailles) was inspired by Mazarin. When Mazarin leaves the king's bedroom, he realizes that he forgot to tell not to revoke the Edict of Nantes (that Louis XIV actually revoked in 1685).
  • Lady in Red: The sexy villainess Églantine always wears a red dress. She is even nicknamed the Lady in Red.
  • Made a Slave: Éloïse and the nuns are sold as slaves by Églantine. Crassac does not want to sell Éloïse because he wants to keep her for himself.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The murder of a mother superior is not a minor crime in itself, but the conspiracy against the king is a much bigger thing. Éloïse's guess after the murder turns out to be true.
  • MockGuffin: Much of the plot is driven by characters misinterpreting a laundry list and a really bad love poem as secret coded messages, and acting upon what they think these 'messages' are telling them to do.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Éloïse d'Artagnan (Sophie Marceau), who is showed topless in two scenes (when she tries to seduce a sleeping Quentin and when Églantine de Rochefort wants to sell her as a slave).
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: A series of mix-ups and misunderstandings by the heroes and the villains have both looking for (and finding) coded messages in a laundry list and a really bad love poem. Neither contain any coded messages and are, in fact, a laundry list and a really bad love poem.
  • Papa Wolf: D'Artagnan surely doesn't want to let anyone touch his daughter.
  • Protagonist Title: The original French title, La Fille de D'Artagnan, i.e. "the daughter of D'Artagnan'', refers to Éloïse, the protagonist.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Of the Retired Badass Roundup sort. The Three Musketeers eventually reform to help Éloïse and thwart Crassac's plans.
  • Retired Badass: D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers have long retired from the King's guard when Éloïse comes at them.
  • Retired Badass Roundup: Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan team up again to save the king after splitting up many years before.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The English title is Revenge of the Musketeers.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Éloïse d'Artagnan finds a laundry list and she thinks that it is a coded message about a conspiracy. She is wrong: the list is just a laundry list, but there is really a conspiracy to murder to king.
  • Royal Brat: How D'Artagnan considers King Louis XIV, who's 16 at the time of the story.
  • Someone to Remember Her by: D'Artagnan is moved almost to tears when he first lays eyes on his now grown-up daughter because she resembles her dead mother Constance (Bonacieux) so much.
  • Spanner in the Works: Crassac's conspiracy against the king is ruined because one of the slaves he owns escaped and because Éloïse d'Artagnan saw one of his men kill the mother superior.
  • Spin-Offspring: The film gives D'Artagnan a daughter, and puts her front and center. He says her mother's name is Constance, heavily implying it's Constance Bonacieux, who died without having any child in the original novel.
  • Storming the Castle: Subverted. D'Artagnan, Porthos and Aramis storm Crassac's castle to free Éloïse... but the castle is empty. They just meet an agent of Mazarin.
  • Swashbuckler: The film is set during the The Cavalier Years (in 1654) and it features numerous sword fights.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: When she leaves the convent, Éloïse disguises herself as a man to travel alone safely.
  • Turn Out Like Her Father: D'Artagnan specifically put Éloïse in a convent so she wouldn't grow up hearing of his exploits and imitating him, for her safety. Even if she lacks a bit of mastery in sword fights, she ends up just as heroically motivated to protect the French Crown as he was.
  • Villainous Crush: Crassac falls for Éloïse.
  • Woman Scorned: Crassac neglects Églantine de Rochefort for Éloïse. Églantine betrays him and foils his conspiracy as a result.