your swash has buckled and you
seen it all, then how about a
young lady who becomes a Musketeer?
Featuring such well-known stars as
Michael York and Christopher Cazenove
not to mention the fabulous Gerard
adds a gender-bending new twist to
classic novel, The
Three Musketeers... IT IS 1660 DURING THE WAR BETWEEN France and Spain with no sign of peace
and heavy losses in battle. In the French court a power struggle has begun between
Cardinal Mazarin (Gerard Depardieu) and the young King, Louis the XIV (Freddie
Sayers). The people are divided between church and state.
Aided by his personal guard, led by the ruthless Captain Villeroi (Marcus Jean
Pirae), the Cardinal bows to nobody and is a force to be reckoned with. But
luckily for the Sun King, his champions are the famous and formidable Musketeers
now led by Commander Laurence Pinot (Roy Dotrice) who are just
about to get a very welcome new recruit.
The most renowned Musketeer of all, Jacques D'Artagnan (Michael York), has retired
to the country with his wife Cecile (Susan Brown). But their daughter Valentine
(Susie Amy) is determined to take up her father's sword and follow in his footsteps
to become the most accomplished musketeer of all France despite being
a young woman in the 17th Century. Just a tiny drawback.
Trevoux (William Gaunt), France's envoy to Spain, returns with the news that
King Philip has called off his daughter's marriage to Charles of England and
that Princess Maria-Theresa (Kristina Krepela) is on her way to France to be
married instead to Louis.
The Sun King is himself facing a dilemma. In love with his mistress Marie (Clemency
Burton-Hill), he has no wish to be married to the Spanish princess but
it is a sure-fire way to conclude the Franco-Spanish war. However, peace is
not in the interests of everyone.
Mazarin has a very good reason for not wanting the war to end and he is hatching
a plot to reduce the ranks of the king's guard starting with an attack
on Plantchet Taverne, owned by a former servant of D'Artagnan (Constantine Gregory)
and a well-known haunt of the Musketeers. The attack is prevented by Musketeers
Gaston (Caspar Zafer), Etienne (Niko Nicotera) and Antoine (Andrew Musselman)
who are themselves the sons of retired Musketeers Porthos (John Rhys-Davies),
Athos (Christopher Cazenove) and Aramis (Allan Corduner).
When Valentine leaves home bound for Paris to enlist in the Musketeers and fulfil
her dream, her father gives her his sword and a letter of introduction to Commander
Pinot. On her journey, Valentine comes across a carriage under attack and chases
off the attackers. She is befriended by its occupant, Lady Bolton (Nastassja
Kinski) who unbeknown to Valentine has come hotfoot from England
after killing the Duke of Buckingham (Nicholas Rowe) and stealing a portrait
of the French Queen Anne, Louis' mother, at the instigation of Mazarin.
In Paris, Valentine immediately crosses swords with Gaston, Etienne and Antoine
and meets her old friend Captain Paul Mauriac (Nicholas Irons) at the Musketeers
HQ as she presents herself to Pinot and has her hopes dashed for the
Little does Valentine suspect that Lady Bolton is conspiring with Mazarin to
bring down the monarchy, using a letter found hidden in the portrait of the
late Queen. Mazarin is responsible for the deaths of a number of Musketeers
including Commander Pinot and he sends Captain Villeroi to ensure
that Maria-Theresa does not reach Paris. No sooner has Valentine let down her
hair than the Musketeers are needed to save France!
With Maria-Theresa and her ladies-in-waiting held captive by the Cardinal's
guards and Valentine accused of a murder she did not commit by the seductive
and deadly Lady Bolton, the Musketeers need to work fast to protect the king
and the future of France.
Valentine has to find Gaston, Etienne and Antoine, who have been sent out to
meet and guard the princess, while avoiding being arrested by the Cardinal's
guards and once again, it's 'all for one and one for all' as the mission
becomes a matter of life and death for the four young Musketeers. And the body-count
is going upů
On their way to Paris to join the fray are the retired Musketeers D'Artagnan,
Porthos, Athos and Aramis. And even Mazarin is not safe from treachery as Villeroi
has an agenda all of his own. Will Valentine help to save the princess and realise
her own dream of becoming a Musketeer? Some suspect acting with a lot of hamming
it up is layered over an interesting story with excellent sword fights.
La Femme Musketeer is a light-hearted period romp in which the bedbugs
are not the only vermin, woven into a rich tapestry of French 17th Century life
revolving around conspiracy and deception. The Musketeers take on the second
most important man in France (some say the first!) in this twist on the classic
tale that features an award-winning, international cast. There is one scene
of torture, but it is not explicit.
Music is by Mader; Director of Photography is David Connell; Produced by Fred
Weintraub, Tom Kuhn; Boris Gregoric and Juan Mas; Written by Sandra Weintraub;
Executive Producers are Larry Levinson and Robert Halmi Jr; Art Director is
Tanja Lacko; Choreographer is Juraj Mofcan; Second Unit: Directed by Zachary
Weintraub; Director of Photography is Bo Randulff; Swordmaster is Peter "Andy"
Hric and the film is Directed by Steve Boyum.
La Femme Musketeer will be released
on DVD by Brightspark Productions on 20 April, 2009. RRP: ú19.99 | Certificate:
"La Femme Musketeer is a light-hearted romp in which the bedbugs are
not the only vermin, woven into a rich tapestry of French 17th Century life
revolving around conspiracy and deception" Maggie Woods, MotorBar