Film Reviews Cat

The Duke (2020)


Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London is missing, and the main suspect is a peculiar elderly man.  

“The Duke” reminded me a little of “The Pink Panther” movie because of the way that certain scenes are depicted. It was mainly the different camera shots within one frame that contributed to the cartoon-like feeling. And this is not a bad thing because it really does help to lighten up the overall atmosphere. Moreover, from an aesthetic perspective it is really nice to see the different camera angles presented in such a manner. Especially in combination with the excellent color schemes that were used. Therefore, from a visual perspective, this might be one of the better movies out there. However, if movies were only about the visual impact then a lot of bad movies would have ended up in my all time top 10 list.

I can only come up with one word when looking at the story and that is “cute”. The entire concept of this movie is cute, sweet and light, but is this really something that we want to see? Surely, there are people who like this kind of storyline. However, there is no real impact. It all feels too easy, and with this I mean a lack of serious internal, and/or external struggle. Of course, if a movie is meant to be light then you as a writer and/or director don’t want to add such elements. However, to me “The Duke” felt overly dull and boring. This might have been the case because of the protagonist and the manner in which he is portrayed by the actor. But to be more explicit; at no point did I care about the protagonist or his family. This could have been my own shortcoming, but the family itself was initially presented to the audience as people that steal and take advantage of others. While in the second part of this movie they are being depicted as innocent people that try to help the world… I am not even sure. However, the change of perspective there is way too big. Others might make the argument that our peculiar protagonist is not stealing or abusing the system, but instead is using his civil rights. There is definitely a truth to such an opinion. However, pushing boundaries to the extent that you are becoming a free-rider within society is not cute anymore in my opinion. 

Anyway, the main issue that I have with this film are the family dynamics because it is quite difficult to fully understand it. Maybe this is the case because there is no full family exposure within this movie. However, I really do think that they should have at least added ten more minutes to develop that part a little more. Because I want to know more about the son that somehow doesn’t get involved with his brother’s criminal activity. But then he does something much more severe. This could be a plot hole. No, this must be a plot hole because it shouts the word “inconsistency”. Maybe they should have exchanged the roles of the two brothers. Maybe I should rephrase my initial wording from “cute” to “inconsistently cute”. Maybe, just maybe this movie isn’t a 6.5/10 but a 5.5/10. 

Overall, I can only advise you to watch this movie if you are really interested in how to create an interesting aesthetic polished feeling within a movie. The director really saved this project because if it wasn’t shot in the way it is then nobody would have ever talked about it. Therefore, this might only be a must watch movie for people that attend film school.

Directed by 

Roger Michell

Writing Credits

Richard Bean
Clive Coleman


Matthew GoodeJeremy Hutchinson
Helen MirrenDorothy Bunton
Anna Maxwell MartinMs. Gowling
Jim BroadbentKempton Bunton
Fionn WhiteheadJackie
Charlotte SpencerPammy
Sian CliffordDr Unsworth
Charles EdwardsSir Joseph Simpson
John HeffernanNeddie Cussen

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