Have you ever watched TV series you wanted to re-watch straight after watching the last episode? I bet you have. Well, a novice ‘Versailles’ is exactly like that, at least for me: I’m currently re-watching it, and enjoying each moment as I did the first time!
Let’s look into the plot.
France. 1667. 28-year-old King Louis XIV (played by George Blagden) decides to leave Paris and settle down in Versailles, more specifically, in his father’s hunting lodge, which Louis XIV wants to re-build into the greatest palace in the world – Versailles. That period of time at Versailles is full of drama, affairs within the royal court, political plots and intrigues.
What to pay special attention to.
The storyline of the King’s brother – Philippe d’Orléans (played by Alexander Vlahos). That’s one hell of a character!!! Charismatic Alexander did a great job portraying Philippe.
He’s some kind of a rock’n’roll star of the 17th century – very eccentric, attention-grabbing and astonishingly looking! To be honest, I fell in love with Alex’s character, well, and him, straight away. The role of Philippe is so interesting to be played: there’s drama, fun, humour, passion… Only an all-rounder could play it well. Luckily, the producers picked Alex for this job! So, after episode 1 I was looking forward to his scenes to see what his character was up to next. Taking into account that Philippe is not only married to the King of England’s sister, Henriette (who is also King Louis’ main favourite, by the way) but has a love affair with a guy, too – Chevalier (played by another great actor Evan Williams), things are quite complicated on ‘Versailles’. The relationship of Philippe and Chevalier is so surprisingly natural and compelling that Versailles fans are ‘shipping’ them from episode 1.
***And a little funny bonus from these two awesome guys (so, that’s what they do behind the scenes):
Another pleasant surprise for me was when I saw George Blagden as King Louis XIV for the first time. I instantly thought that he was just perfect as Louis. The way George acted – said his lines, behaved, looked at everybody – struck home. George knows exactly how to convey the King’s power and superiority, but at the same time show his human side. I really enjoy his chemistry with his colleagues on the screen: both, women and men, especially with his on-screen brother – Alexander Vlahos. They not only look somewhat similar but also act like they’ve known each other for ages. Amazing!
The real Palace of Versailles is often used as the series’ set (you can see the Hall of Mirrors at the beginning). Great choice, producers! There’s nothing better than using actual locations to show the magnificence of that time. And that not only helped to create a good picture on the screen but is really a driving force for tourism in Paris, France. I know it first-hand. Before I watched ‘Versailles’, I’d already had a trip to Paris planned for this past July, but after watching the show I just couldn’t wait to see the palace and its gardens first-hand.
Well, what can I say; it really is breath-taking! To be honest, I didn’t expect that I would be so in love with Versailles!
Ok, let’s continue with the series’ details…
Apart from the stunning set, ‘Versailles’ presents beautiful costumes and make-up (both, female and male). I mean, just look at those wigs the male characters are wearing!!! Especially, King Louis and Philippe. They could easily be in some hair products ad with all those flowing wavy locks! lol
The costumes and jewellery are well-thought-through as well: every detail says ‘money’ and shows their belonging to aristocrats.
‘Outro’ by M83 is used for the opening titles. The song is futuristic with distinctive electronic sound, so it is really modern but at the same time, it is such a great contribution to the show (just listen to the lyrics: “Now and forever, I’m your king!”) that there’s no doubt that it belongs at the series opening.
‘Aton’ by NOIA can be heard during the end credits. Love it, too! Such a tender melody. To me, it associates with Henriette (played by beautiful and talanted Noémie Schmidt). Especially to the point it sounds after the last, 10th, episode. If you have watched it, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, you’ll understand…
I’m not a historian but I guess the combination of all the above-mentioned details gives the perfect feel of the 17th century France: you don’t think about the present, 2016, even for a moment while watching ‘Versailles’.
I’d recommend watching ‘Versailles’ to
everyone who loves historic series/movies and who deeply misses another amazing series ‘The Tudors’.
Don’t be put off just because one of numerous racy sex scenes of ‘Versailles’ is shown already at the 2nd minute of the show (come on, like you haven’t watched ‘Game of Thrones’ or/and ‘The Tudors’!). At first, it is unexpected and shocking but then you’ll get used to it and will see them as a part of the show. Sex isn’t the most important on the show, what is much more significant is the relationship of Louis XIV and Philippe. That’s, basically, the backbone of ‘Versailles’. And that’s the source of drama and humour.
My personal rating is 10/10!
I’ve been waiting for quite a while for a show that is so addictive and makes you thirsty for more with each episode. Gorgeous and talented young actors. Interesting plot. Breath-taking set! I highly recommend ‘Versailles’ to everyone if you want to spend time with pleasure!