Napoleon is set to be one of the most ambitious historical epics in years. Directed by legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott and starring Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, the film promises to be a spectacle-filled dive into the legendary French leader’s rapid rise to power and eventual undoing.
Movie Details of Napoleon Movie
|November 24, 2023
|Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Ludivine Sagnier, Ben Miles, Tahar Rahim, Ian McNeice
|Ridley Scott, Kevin Walsh, Mark Huffam, Joaquin Phoenix
|20th Century Studios, Scott Free Productions
The Story of Napoleon Bonaparte Movie
Napoleon follows its namesake’s journey from his humble Corsican beginnings to his coronation as Emperor of France in 1804 at only 35 years old. The film tracks his endless ambition and trailblazing military and political innovations that allowed him to conquer much of Europe.
However, Napoleon also explores the personal demons that pushed the iconic leader’s unquenchable thirst for control and glory. It focuses on his addictive yet volatile relationship with his beloved wife Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Their love holds up a mirror to Napoleon’s demons, serving as a tragic window into his unraveling psyche.
As battles and betrayals mount, Napoleon’s overreach embroils Europe in chaos and bloodshed. His uncompromising leadership finally falters after his disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia and ultimate defeat at Waterloo in 1815, which kicked off his final exile and decline into illness and obscurity.
Bringing This Epic Tale to Life
To truly capture Napoleon’s legendary story would require a filmmaking army, which Scott has assembled. Backed by a $150 million budget, the production spanned multiple international locations with thousands of costumes and extras.
The film promises battles on a staggering scale, made possible through modern digital effects. Key moments brought to life include Napoleon’s fiercely fought 1805 victory at Austerlitz and the jaw-dropping burning of Moscow in 1812 during his failed Russian invasion.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Transformative Lead Performance
However, the film’s most critical gamble is Joaquin Phoenix’s central performance. The enigmatic three-time Oscar nominee brings his trademark intensity to Napoleon. He had to undergo a physical transformation, as Phoenix committed to a rigorous diet and exercise routine to portray the 5’6″ French Emperor convincingly on the big screen.
Early reviews highlight Phoenix’s magnetic portrayal of Napoleon’s relentless ambition and self-confidence juxtaposed with intense insecurity regarding his circumstances and relationships. Phoenix’s Napoleon comes across as brilliant yet unstable, committed to his vision for France but crippled by inner demons.
A Companion Piece Exploring Josephine’s Perspective
While Phoenix may be the film’s main attraction, Napoleon also promises a compelling companion arc following Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Josephine’s journey runs parallel to Napoleon’s, offering intimate access to the emotional truth beyond the iconic Emperor’s public campaigns and policymaking.
As a financially independent widow and socialite when she met her ambitious suitor, Josephine represented stability and legitimacy to the upstart Napoleon. However, their affection quickly morphed into a fiery, addictive love that haunted Napoleon.
Kirby’s performance aims to explore Josephine’s complex position navigating Napoleon’s mood swings between doting affection and intense jealousy regarding her past relationships. While frequently separated due to Napoleon’s campaigns, he remained obsessed with Josephine until their estrangement shortly before his disastrous invasion of Russia.
The interplay between Phoenix and Kirby’s performances aims to humanize the titanic figures, promising an engaging emotional core behind the spectacle.
Early Napoleon Movie Reviews Paint a Stunning yet Flawed Epic
So does Napoleon live up to its grand ambitions? Initial critical reactions indicate Scott has delivered his most invigorated directorial effort in years.
The film is receiving praise for its jaw-dropping battle scenes and impressive performances, especially Joaquin Phoenix’s mesmerizing, mood-driven turn as the title character. Napoleon is being called Phoenix’s deepest character dive since his Oscar-winning work in Joker.
However, some criticize the film’s uneven pacing and meandering third act. After reaching operatic heights chronicling Napoleon’s early conquests, the movie loses steam through his decline. While Phoenix remains excellent, the murmured critiques argue Scott’s script fails to fully connect the legendary man’s inner demons with his ultimate undoing.
Overall though, reviews indicate Napoleon offers a little something for everyone. History buffs will delight in Scott’s attention to detail in recreating early 19th century Europe on film. Phoenix’s magnetism makes the character study engaging, while the spectacle provides pure cinematic splendor sure to dazzle on the big screen. While imperfect, Napoleon looks to be a gorgeous epic that captures the allure and tragedy of its titanic central figure.
How to Watch Napoleon Film
Napoleon is receiving an exclusive theatrical release starting November 24 in the United States, France, and several other international markets.
Watching Napoleon in Theaters
The best way to experience Scott’s grand vision is to catch Napoleon showing on the biggest screen possible upon its premiere.
You can purchase tickets in advance online via sites like Fandango, with standard pricing usually between $10-15 for evening showtimes. Matinee and discount weekday screenings generally run $7-10 per ticket.
Most theater chains also offer special deals like student or senior citizen discounts certain days of the week. So check your local cinema’s website for promotions.
To save the most money, look for coupons and vouchers. RetailMeNot frequently offers 20% off Fandango codes around new releases. Entertainment site PreShow lets users take mini quizzes and games to earn free movie tickets. So search around to find the best Napoleon cinema deals in your area.
Waiting for Home Release
If you prefer watching from home, Napoleon’s digital on-demand and Blu-Ray/DVD release dates are not yet announced.
However based on typical Hollywood schedules, expect it to hit premium video-on-demand (iTunes, Prime Video) for a high one-time rental fee ($20 range) around late February 2024.
Then Napoleon should reach cable on-demand, Netflix, Hulu and finally physical releases between March and May 2024. So mark your calendars and keep an eye out for announcements confirming when Napoleon becomes available for home streaming and purchase!
How to Stream Napoleon
When Napoleon finishes its theatrical run and reaches streaming services, there will be multiple options to stream it online.
The most popular streaming hubs acquiring major Hollywood movies like Napoleon are:
- Netflix: Likely streaming option 6-8 months post-theatrical run
- Hulu: May stream close to Netflix release date
- Prime Video: Expected for purchase & rent first before streaming free for members
- Disney+: Unlikely due to 20th Century Studios (under Disney) producing for theatrical release first
- HBO Max: Probable streaming option 8-10 months post-theatrical
Most streaming services offer free trial periods for first-time subscribers. So time those around Napoleon’s suspected streaming debut to watch for free!
Where to Watch Napoleon Dubbed in Hindi
For Indian audiences, Napoleon will get a Hindi language dub released theatrically in India starting December 15, 2023.
Once available for home release, the Hindi version should reach major streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video and Sony LIV around Summer 2024.
Familiar voices will dub Phoenix and Kirby’s roles, along with translations of captions for non-Hindi dialogue. So fans eager for the Hindi Napoleon can anticipate its streaming debut in just 6-8 months!
On the heels of recent hits like House of Gucci and Joker, Napoleon promises to continue Joaquin Phoenix’s hot streak playing obsessive, complex figures that reshape history. Bolstered by Ridley Scott’s directorial vision and a slew of visual spectacle, this sweeping epic aims to capture Napoleon Bonaparte’s dizzying ambition that conquered Europe, yet also sowed the seeds of his destructive downfall.
While some narrative issues may muddle Napoleon’s grandeur, initial critical reactions indicate Phoenix delivers a hypnotic performance at the heart of a stellar production. Napoleon appears primed to deliver an eye-popping dramatized history lesson on one of the most iconic leaders in world history.