Les Petites Culottes de la Révolution (1989) – Movie Review
Hello everyone, for my 10000 subscribers, I wanted to clear the controversial and hyper-sexualized reputation of my channel that my recent Marquis de Sade …
Hello everyone, for my 10,000 subscribers,
I wanted to clear the controversial and
hyper-sexualized reputation of my channel that
my recent Marquis de Sade videos have created.
While these have been extremely successful and
a lesser man would have milked said success,
I am better than that. At its core, this is a
very serious channel about very serious topics,
and it is time that my videos start reflecting
that. And what can be more uncontroversial and
serious than the review of a historical movie?
So today, I’m reviewing a 1989 movie about the
French revolution made by Pierre B. Rheinard.
Now I had never heard of this director,
but I was reassured by the fact that he had
already made historical movies in the past
such as “Le Diable Rose”, which discusses life
in nazi-occupied France. Needless to say, I had
high hopes, hopes that were immediately shattered
upon reading the title of the movie, “Les petites
culottes de la Révolution”, which translates
to “The Panties of the Revolution.” Yeah.
This is clearly a mistake and they most
certainly meant to write “Les sans-culottes de la
Révolution” in reference to the urban lower-class
during the French Revolution. Their name came from
the fact that they wore trousers as opposed to
the upper-bourgeoisie and the nobles who wore
silk breeches known as “culottes”. But to have
a historical movie about the French revolution
make such a basic mistake in the title was far
from promising, especially when that mistake was
rather embarassing. Nevertheless, I decided
to carry forward and give this movie a chance.
The movie starts on June 27th, 1772 with Le
Marquis de Sade and his man servant/lover
Latour enjoying a prostitute together.
Obviously, I was quite upset! Imagine me,
desperately trying to avoid mentioning the
controversial Marquis de Sade as to preserve
the fragile reputation of my channel, only for the
first scene of this historical movie to depict him
copulating. And quite explicitly as well!
Furthermore, it all felt quite needless – why
feature le Marquis de Sade at all in a movie about
the sans-culottes? Sure, he had some influence on
the French revolution, but I would definitely not
associate him with the sans-culottes, preferring
instead characters like Marat or Hébert, the
creator of the Père Duschene. So frankly,
I was disappointed, but at least they got the date
right as June 1772 was when the Marquis de Sade
and his servant were sentenced to death for
sodomy, and less importantly, at least in those
times, for attempted murder on four prostitutes
by giving them a poisonous aphrodisiac.
Credit where credit is due, this historical moment
is portrayed perfectly in this movie, albeit after
an excruciatingly long sex scene which was
made particularly awkward by the fact that I
was watching this movie with my family. And
while at first I was understandably uncomfortable,
the genius of the director soon became
apparent as I understood that it was simply
an elaborate metaphor for how the clergy
and the nobility treated the third estate.
Allow me to illustrate. Here is the clergy. Here
is the nobility. And here is the third estate
being fucked over by the former. Genius.
The movie then jumps to 1789,
or the beginning of the revolution, and we
are immediately blasted by a fellatio scene
between a noble and a peasant named Charlotte.
This is a clear reference to Charlotte Corday,
a Girondin sympathizer who murdered
the radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat
in his bath tube. However, the fact that Corday
is literally sucking the dick of the nobility
is quite concerning as it clearly shows the
bias of the director who decided to portray
her as a royalist sympathizer. And personal
belief aside, I do not think that historical
movies should have such obvious signs of bias.
Nor close-ups of fellatios for that matter.
After yet another extended sex scene in a horse
carriage, we see the noble, Mr. Le Count, arrive at
the residence of his friend, Mr. Le Marquis, where
they immediately partake in a wild bdsm orgy.
The following fifteen minutes spent with my family
was perhaps the most awkward and unpleasant moment
of my life, topped only by my first kiss at
21 in a back street of Kuala Lumpur with a
Malaysian prostitute. But finally, the orgy
comes to an end, and I leave a sigh of relief
as I find comfort in the belief that I might
get a pause from this constant sexual bashing,
only to be slapped in the face with a close-up
of yet another fellatio. And that’s where I must
discuss my first major critique of this movie.
Now, I’m not complaining about the fact that
there’s sex involved – I am no prude.
Furthermore, sex was omnipresent in the
Ancien Régime and it was not at all uncommon
for the King of France to have mistresses,
with Louis XIV having sixteen children with six
mistresses while Henry IV was infamous for having
over 30 mistresses throughout his lifetime. In
the words of Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be King.”
In fact, Louis XVI was the exception, not the
rule, for being in a monogamous relationship.
So no, the sex itself is not a problem, it’s just
the sheer amount of it and I am starting to think
that it’s impacting the narration of the story.
It is only after 40 minutes into this movie about
the “sans-culottes’ that we finally encounter
those so-called “sans-culottes” fighting at
the bastille against the royalist troops, and
I have numerous issues with this scene. First,
they really dropped the ball when it came to the
extras budget – yes, less than 1,000 stormed the
Bastille, which wasn’t a lot, but this is really
pushing it in order to save some money. However,
after watching Dunkirk, I’ve come to realize that
this was a common theme in historical movies,
so I’ll let that one pass.
Second, the French tricolor flag
did not exist at that time, having been designed
a year later, and it would have been more accurate
if the sans-culottes wore a red and blue cockade,
which were the colors of the fucking Paris. Third,
this is taking place in a field in the middle
of nowhere, which would have been fine if this
was the 15th century but by the time of the French
revolution, the area surrounding the Bastille had
become quite populated having the dense Faubourg
St Antoine right beside it. And finally, we hear
the Marquis de Sade screaming from his cell about
how the guards are killing everyone, which did
happen but almost two weeks before the storming
of the Bastille. In fact, it is one of the events
that led to this fateful day. Also, they tried to
make us believe that this guy looks anything like
this guy at the beginning of the movie.
We later see our friends, Mr. Le Marquis and
Mr. Le Count, getting ready to emigrate from France
following the storming of the Bastille, and while
some people did emigrate in 1989, including (some of) the aunts of the King, mass emigration only started
in 1791 as the revolution became increasingly
more radical and violent. After their master
abandoned his château, the servants decide to
celebrate by singing “Ah ça ira, ça ira, ça ira”,
an emblematic revolutionary song that was
created… a year later… And while this might
seem like nitpicking small details, it’s
those small details that tell you whether
the director cared to portray an accurate
representation of the revolution or not.
We are now back in the carriage and our break from
these endless copulations, alas, comes to an end
as our two friends are now sharing a woman.
Soon enough, Mr. Le Marquis starts performing
anilingus on this fine, young lady, which is
a clear reference to the infamous phrase often
associated with Marie-Antoinette, “Let them eat
cake.” However, she never said that. The phrase
actually comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s own
autobiography, “Confessions”. In it he recounts
the story of a great Prince who had exclaimed
“Then let them eat cake” after he was told that
the peasantry had no bread. The phrase had since
been used to smear clueless, out-of-touch wealthy
nobles which Marie-Antoinette has often been
accused of being. It’s a shame this quote-unquote
historical movie further promotes this myth.
The movie now jumps a few years to 1793, right
in the middle of the Reign of Terror. There we
meet two executioners about to guillotine a Jew,
although one of them comments that they don’t
need to guillotine him as he’s already been
cut. Hmmm. Dubious jokes aside, this movie
seems to imply that this man was guillotined
solely for being Jewish, and thus
that the revolution was antisemitic.
And while Catholic priests who failed to reject
the authority of the Pope were often persecuted, I
find little evidence of Jewish persecution during
the French revolution. If anything, it largely
benefited them as they were finally emancipated in
1791, making France the second country in Europe
to offer full rights to Jewish people after Poland
had done so more than 500 years prior. So not only
a tasteless joke but a woefully inaccurate one.
Also, once again, wrong flag. While the tricolor
had been adopted by then, the colors were
inverted and should be red, white and blue.
It was only in 1794 that the current
arrangement of the tricolor was adopted.
We are now introduced to Marat, an important
character in the French revolution, although his
presence here is brief and does not bring much to
the story. But to be fair, there hasn’t been much
story at all. Marat is given a bath prepared by no
less than Charlotte, Charlotte Corday of course,
but instead of stabbing him to avenge the
downfall of the Girondins, she blows him?
Now, that’s where I say no! This is pure
historical revisionism. And the worst part
is that she kills him by accidently stabbing
him when he comes in for a kiss. What? How
could this movie ever pretend to be historical?
It’s a farce! Why would you have Corday blow,
metaphorically, of course, the
nobility to then have her blow,
metaphorically, the revolution, and
then pretend that she murdered Marat by
accident? Why is she so ideologically
inconsistent? It does not make sense!
Needless to say, I was quite upset at this point.
I can excuse the unnecessary amount of sex,
this is a French movie after all, but I draw
the line when this so-called historical movie
just straight up invent stuff! And it’s
not like the acting is good either.
Does this look like a woman devastated by the
fact that she accidentally killed a man? No.
As a result of this stabbing, Corday ends up
raped, tortured, and then executed. And while
Corday did indeed get executed for her involvement
in the death of Marat, having very willingly
and purposefully stabbed him, there is no
evidence that she was raped and tortured.
The revolutionary tribunal didn’t need to as
they had plenty of evidence of her murder.
So, this is needless and yet another excuse for
the director to plug in yet another sex scene
much like a Lars von Trier movie.
We now find our old friends
Mr.Le Marquis and Mr. Le Count having returned to
their domain, which would have been the stupidest
thing to do considering the fact that this was
right in the middle of the Reign of Terror. Why
they would emigrate in 1789 only to come back
when the revolution had only gone more extreme
and violent is beyond me. And as expected they
end up guillotined, although not before receiving
last-wish blowjobs for some reason.
And thus the movie ends with the
servants taking part in a celebratory foursome to
commemorate the death of their tyrannical masters.
Perhaps a visual representation of how
the British painted the French revolution
as a clusterfuck of debauchery? Undoubtfully.
Or perhaps it’s a Marxist critique of how,
in the grand scheme of things, the revolution
did not change much as the bourgeoisie simply
replaced the aristocracy without fixing
the inherent inequalities of their society,
resulting in the revolutionaries living the
very lives that their masters had once lived,
thus making this a direct reference to the
ending of “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo.
So in the end, how do I feel about this historical
movie? Well, it was definitely not what I expected
and I fear it did little to improve the reputation
of my channel. It was certainly filmed on the
cheaper side, but that’s not always a bad thing
and can easily be made up for with great acting,
a great story, and a great director.
However, this movie has none of that,
but at least it succeeds in being more
historically accurate than Braveheart.
It’s still a terrible movie and the sex, oh god,
so much sex! And for those reasons, I must give it
five baguettes out of 5. You should check out this
movie, although preferably without your family.