12 years after hunching over the small screen, the Alexandre Astier series offers its first foray into the darkroom. The first chapter of this Kaamelott saga, which fans have been waiting for, did it live up to our expectations? Critical.
More than a decade. This is the time it took Alexandre Astier to develop the continuation and ending of his Kaamelott series. Broadcasting on M6 between January 2005 and October 2009, pastille quickly established itself as the benchmark in the genre, even surpassing its predecessors such as Camera Café. With Kaamelott: Volet’s premiere, the director and actor embarked on a new saga, with the ambition of bringing together fans of television productions and moviegoers. What is the first film announced by the Sacro-Holy Grail?
In the kingdom of Logres, the ruthless Lancelot and his minions reign in terror. The gods, despised by this cruel dictatorship, cause the return of Arthur Pendragon. But the latter doesn’t seem too happy with the idea of reclaiming his throne and dealing with resistance.
Saying that the film is expected is without a doubt the biggest understatement of 2021. Followed by the community among the most active, Kaamelott’s story is again booming in theaters, evidenced by the film’s results in its preview sales. But the pressure is also huge for King Arthur, who must reassure his fans that his future is now being played out on the big screen.
Now freed from the small skylight format and budget, Alexandre Astier sees things in a big way. Lyonnais delivers a hilarious and heartwarming medieval epic. In the tradition of seasons 5 and 6, Kaamelott deviated once and for all from its purely humorous format to bet on a more nuanced and far more effective narrative construct. If you’re hoping to find an iconic replica of Perceval and Karadoc, Kaamelott: Part one prefers an update… and that’s great! Far from the dreaded (yet present) fan service this first feature film is an update to the franchise, one that hasn’t lost its appetite for well-perceived valves and ubiquitous situations. Kaamelott’s recipe hasn’t changed one bit, unlike the actors, and proves to us that French comedy can be something other than a film with Christian Clavier finding joy in ethnic diversity.
After the introductory sequence, which mainly serves to hang the train and to draw new people into its web, Kaamelott intrigues: the first part gains in intensity, but doesn’t quite contrast with the series. Episodic, this first chapter relies on a plurality of places and intrigues to arrive at the conclusions we have imagined so well. The goal was clear for Alexandre Astier to continue the development and evolution of his character to lay the groundwork for his medieval adventures. On screen, characters appear and disappear with the sole purpose of preparing Arthur for his destiny as ruler and on his quest for the Grail. If new people could get lost along the way, the fans themselves would enter this familiar yet very different universe.
When we think of Astier, we definitely think of the musicality of the scriptwriter’s dialogue and this first part proves us right. With their signature phrasing, the characters indulge themselves without displeasure in inspired bickering and puns. If at times this will tend to overwhelm the story, which is more ambitious than the series, we didn’t shy away from our delight at finding a depressed, but still sour, Léodagan and Juniper certainly less lighthearted yet just as funny.
Alexandre Astier has never hidden his love for pop culture and science fiction. Several times in the series, screenwriters have attempted to give a few nods to genre monuments like Star Wars or even Stargate. Here, all the intrigue that seems to be inspired by the work of George Lucas. A sort of return for the Jedi, this film is meant to be an introduction to an extensive trilogy (a non-trivial choice) that should give viewers their dose of annual viewing.
Even so, sometimes Alexandre Astier doesn’t seem to fully explore the capabilities that the big screen has to offer. Despite his choice to film his feature film exclusively on Alexa 65, the second in France, Alexandre Astier’s frame sometimes lacks ambition. If certain items of camera used specifically for Joker are successful, we’d like the director to completely free himself from the visual code of the series to recreate it on screen. However, the color palette used by the filmmakers takes audiences to places the series has never explored and the journey is definitely worth a look.
Also pay attention to the worka is amazing at the costumes as well as the music. The screenwriter, director, but also composer has more than one trick up his sleeve and has crafted a score that can thrill John Williams and others. We will not fail to listen again and again, the sound of the horn echoing from the first seconds of this film.