Even before its premiere, Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” aroused controversy among historians due to the discrepancies between the script and the facts. Now French historians, who are particularly sensitive to how Napoleon is portrayed, have spoken out.
French historians cite disappointing inaccuracies in Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’. Romain Marsily and Patrice Gueniffey spoke up and said that everything was wrong in the movie “Napoleon”.
French historians cite disappointing inaccuracies in Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’. Romain Marsily and Patrice Gueniffey spoke up and said that everything was wrong in the movie “Napoleon”. Here’s what they don’t like:
- Joaquin Phoenix is 49 years old, while Napoleon was 35 when he became emperor. Josephine was 6 years older than Napoleon, while Vanessa Kirby was 14 years younger than Phoenix. This affects the dynamics of the characters.
- Scene of shelling the pyramids – Napoleon killed many people in Egypt, but did not touch important objects. He brought with him 130 scholars to make an inventory.
- Battle of Austerlitz – soldiers did not drown during the battle, because in fact the pond was 15 centimeters deep and although soldiers actually died there, it was not due to drowning.
- Escape from exile on Elba – the film’s Napoleon wants to meet Josephine when he left Elba, while in reality the woman was already dead.
- Napoleon was not present at the execution of Marie Antoinette.
- Napoleon never hit Josephine, and she herself did not want to divorce him.
- Napoleon never met Arthur Wellesley.
- It was how Napoleon was portrayed on screen that irritated the French the most. Marsily criticizes Scott for omitting the fact that Napoleon restored slavery in the Antilles, which the ruler regretted because he made this decision under the influence of political pressure and a complicated geopolitical context. Scott did not show Napoleon’s positive impact on French society through the creation of the Napoleonic Code. “Napoleon was a symbol of meritocracy because he was successful even though he was not a nobleman, but after watching the movie you come out of it thinking he was a complete idiot. Napoleon was no saint, no one expected Scott to portray him evangelically, but his Napoleon is so grotesque you wonder how he got there in the first place.”