It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machievelli, of rampant lawlessness, incessant ... See full summary »
The year is 872, and many of the separate kingdoms of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading Danes, leaving the great kingdom of Wessex standing alone and defiant under the... See full summary »
Though the series is set in the 17th century at the early period of Louis XIV's reign, the setting of Versailles is inaccurate due to the building in present state not bearing resemblance to any of the 17th century vestiges thought up of Louis XIV. See more »
Versailles is yet another example of revisionist history that paints a misleading picture of the life and politics of Louis XIV, known as the Sun King.
This drama presents the young French King as an astute, visionary. Much of the narrative is used to make the King sound clever, by having those around him make transparently stupid observations. My favourite is his head of internal security congratulating the King on signing a peace treaty, saying "the war has ended". Its an implausibly absurd comment, given the same head of security is surrounded, at that moment, by men killed as a result of what amounts to a domestic war between the King and elements of the nobility. A war he, as head of internal security, is personally charged with fighting.
The reality of Louis XIV is a lot less glamorous. A parasitic individual, who could only sustain his extravagance through rather ugly acts of domestic usury, theft, international conquest and imperialism. That's not to say Louis was any worse than his contemporaries but, to try to portray him in such an overstated and flattering light, makes a lie of historical truth.
Versailles was hardly the pristine, architectural marvel, its presented as either. People defecated and urinated in hallways, diseases, especially of the venereal variety, were rife. The nobility populating the hallways and rooms of this palace, were not the nice, clean, well scrubbed types presented in this series. They were a dirty lot, who washed infrequently and disguised the stink with powder and perfumes. Simply put, in spite of Versailles visual splendor, it was an unsavory place, filled with indolent, wasteful, maliferous people.
The standard of acting for the series is good and yes, its watchable. It is, after all, inherently interesting material. Yet, so much is misrepresented, that this production is rendered more a fiction than an historical period piece. As such, it should be considered entertainment and little more. Six out of ten from me.
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