Fanfan is a handsome young peasant. He joins the army to escape a forced marriage and because a gypsy girl predicted he will earn glory and the king's daughter as a wife. But the 'gypsy' girl was in fact Adeline, the daughter of the recruiting officer. Once he has discovered the stratagem, Fanfan refuses to forget this dream and decides to fulfill the destiny of the fake prediction. Fantastic swashbuckling adventures in a 18th Century setting, with a light criticism of the war and the mighty.Written by
Fanfan la Tulipe is a 'swashbuckler, romantic comedy' set during the French revolution. Filmed in 1952, the film was a great success in French cinema which then coined the years of swashbuckler classics. The film revolves around a central character 'Fanfan la Tulipe' who has himself a reputation, not just for being a noisy and boastful swordsman (a swashbuckler) but the audience also gets the impression very early on in the film that he is somewhat of a hit with the ladies. This is then emphasised a couple of minutes into the film, when he alludes himself into thinking that he will marry the King's daughter. Fanfan la Tulipe is a very liberal character who rarely abides by the rule of others, and instead chooses to do his own thing.
The film commences with a narrative like style, which is carried on throughout the film. The main narration happens at the beginning and at the end of the film, but occasionally in the middle of the film we hear the narration once again, sometimes helping the viewer to tell what is going on, and directing the view to certain objects in the scene. In a way it summarises what is going to happen in the next part of the film.
The film does not leave any long lasting impression on one's mind after you have seen it, but all in all it is a very easy film to watch. The not so subtle wit from nearly all the characters, and the unperturbed nature of Fanfan La Tulipe (even in the most difficult of situations) help to make this film the unchallenging piece of cinema that it is.
Having said that, albeit an easy film to watch, it is an important film of its time, and also a great source of amusement.
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