Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Last Queen

Go To

The Last Queen (Arabic: الملكة الأخيرة El Akhira; French: La dernière reine) is a 2023 Algerian-French historical drama film co-directed by Adila Bendimerad and Damien Ounouri.

In 1516, Ottoman corsair Aruj "Barbarossa" (Dali Benssalah), known as Oruç Reis in Turkish, captures the city of Algiers, thereby liberating it from the Spanish and taking control of the kingdom. However, he had allied himself with Algiers' Emir, Salim al-Toumi, who dies under unexplained circumstances. Gradually, rumors spread that it was Aruj himself who may have assassinated the emir. The wife of the late emir, Queen Zaphira (Adila Bendimerad), decides to confront Aruj and stand up against him.

The Last Queen provides examples of:

  • Altar Diplomacy: In order to consolidate his grip over Algiers, Aruj plans to marry the widowed Zaphira.
  • Artificial Limb: Aruj replaced his missing left hand with an elaborate articulated one made of iron, not unlike his European contemporary Götz von Berlichingen.
  • Bald of Authority: Emir Salim al-Toumi, ruler of Algiers, is bald.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Aruj's Scandinavian paramour, Astrid, doesn't take his plan to marry Zaphira well.
  • Cool Crown: Zaphira's headdress.
  • Crusading Widow: Zaphira stands up against Aruj's taking of power for as long as the mystery of the death of her husband, Emir Salim al-Toumi, hasn't been solved.
  • Handicapped Badass: Aruj is fierce in combat, even with a missing hand.
  • Red Baron: Aruj is nicknamed "Barbarossa" (similarly to 12th century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I).
  • Token Minority: The cast is primarily composed of Algerian actors and actors of Algerian descent, with the exception of the Scandinavian paramour of Aruj, Astrid, played by French actress of Finnish and Polish descent Nadia Tereszkiewicz.
  • The Usurper: Zaphira considers Aruj as this, as he seizes power after the death of al-Toumi.