Review – A little chaos
A little chaos is a film set in the time of Louis XIV, which mixes elements of pure fiction with historical facts.
The main character of the story is Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet), an exterior designer who is summoned by the king’s gardener, André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts), to give life to a magnificent garden in the palace of Versailles.
Although the style of Le Nôtre is more tied to symmetry and rules, while that of Sabine to chaos (she, in fact, makes her creations blend harmoniously with the surrounding nature), the two manage to create the most beautiful ballroom outdoor dance ever existed.
Sabine de Barra is a complex character, traumatized by a past that she has not managed to overcome yet. Le Nôtre is, instead, a man perpetually under pressure because of the power that the king and his wife have over him. The two will find comfort in each other not without difficulty.
I did not particularly appreciate the acting of Kate Winslet even though it was considered very good by the critics. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by that of Alan Rickman, who made sporadic appearances as Louis XIV and by Jennifer Ehle as the king’s lover.
The themes of the movie are many, but that of feminism is more prominent, things that make the film modern. The protagonist herself is a completely invented character that could not have existed in that environment. This choice represents the current progress against the patriarchal society and the will to give back women the long denied importance.
The rhythm of the narration is sometimes slow even if overall it is a successful movie.
The costumes are wonderful and the locations quite adequate despite the fact the film was shot entirely in London and never in France. The title of the film, in fact, in addition to indicating the mixture of the styles of the two royal gardeners, one characterized by rules and the other by chaos, also represents the chaos that is generated when an English film plays French. Furthermore, A little chaos can also indicate the chaos that reigned in the court of Louis XIV, especially regarding love affairs and adultery.
Having seen this film after the death of its director made me feel much more melancholy than the film itself wants to be. The figure of the king, with his problems, arouses great empathy and, above all in the scene of the flowered garden and in the final scene, it is possible to grasp the depth of the character and the immensity acting of the actor.
In short, it is a film that, despite its low budget, manages to establish itself in the heart of the viewer and to give it a few hours of pure beauty.
In loving memory of