The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Watch The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

  • R
  • 1999
  • 2 hr 40 min
  • 6.4  (68,839)
  • 54

Set in the 15th century, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is a historical drama based on the true story of Joan of Arc, a young girl who was believed to have been sent by God to save France from English domination during the Hundred Years' War. The film portrays Joan's journey from a simple peasant girl to a brave warrior who led the French army to victory.

The film begins in Domrémy, France, where Joan (played by Milla Jovovich) is shown receiving visions from God instructing her to lead the French army against the English. Despite her doubts, Joan is inspired to follow her divine calling and leaves her family and home to find the French Dauphin (played by John Malkovich) in order to convince him to allow her to lead his army into battle.

Along the way, Joan faces many challenges, including ridicule from the Dauphin's court and conflict with the cynical captain of the Dauphin's army. However, she perseveres with the help of her unwavering faith in God and her fearless determination. As she leads the French to victory, Joan's legend grows, and she becomes celebrated as a hero throughout France.

However, the film does not shy away from the darker aspects of her story. Joan is eventually captured and subjected to a trial by the English, who accuse her of heresy and witchcraft. Despite her valiant defense, she is eventually found guilty and burned at the stake. The film portrays her execution with an unflinching brutality, emphasizing the tragedy of her life and the cruel injustice of her death.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc does an excellent job of capturing the historical context of Joan's story. It depicts the violent and chaotic world of 15th-century France and the complex political and religious forces that shaped her life. The film also does an effective job of using symbolism and imagery to convey the spiritual aspects of Joan's journey.

Milla Jovovich gives an incredibly powerful performance as Joan. She conveys the character's devotion and courage with intensity and conviction. The character of Joan is one of the most iconic in history, and Jovovich clearly understands the significance of the role. John Malkovich also delivers a strong performance as the Dauphin, imbuing the character with a sense of cynicism and doubt that contrasts with Joan's unwavering faith.

Director Luc Besson brings his signature visual flair to the film. His use of sweeping camera movements and striking compositions lend the film a sense of epic grandeur that suits the story's scope. The battle scenes are particularly impressive, featuring huge armies clashing against each other in chaotic and bloody conflict.

The film's only real weakness is its tendency to devolve into melodrama at times. Some scenes feel overwrought and heavy-handed, particularly those featuring Joan's captors. However, these moments are few and far between and do not significantly detract from the overall quality of the film.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is a cinematic retelling of one of history's most compelling true stories. With its intense performances, evocative visuals, and haunting soundtrack, the film is a powerful and moving portrait of a young girl who became a legend. Despite its occasional excesses, it remains one of the most engaging and memorable historical dramas of recent years.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is a 1999 adventure movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 54.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Where to Watch The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (68,839)
  • Metascore