REVIEW: Historical horror in Netflix’s ‘La Révolution’

“La Révolution” is Netflix’s new French-language supernatural series. (Supplied)
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Updated 23 October 2020

REVIEW: Historical horror in Netflix’s ‘La Révolution’

  • New drama reimagines French history, with added monsters

LONDON: Ever wondered if the French Revolution — a decade that rocked the country in the late 18th century and saw the abolition of the aristocratic Ancien regime in favor of a constitutional monarchy — had a more supernatural bent to it? If the uprising of the proletariat that led to many of the fundamental founding principles of democracy had less to do with a quest for liberty and equality and more to do with the fear of being quite literally eaten?

Well, even if such thoughts had never crossed your mind before, you’re in luck. Netflix’s new French-language supernatural series reimagines the pivotal historical uprising and takes some, shall we say, liberties with the finer details. “La Révolution” certainly looks the part, full of sumptuous costumes and lavish palaces that are painted in stark contrast to the gritty city and impoverished slums.




“La Révolution” is on Netflix. (Supplied)

When prison doctor Joseph Guillotin investigates a series of grizzly murders, he uncovers evidence of a strange affliction that turns the blood of its victims blue. As the young physician delves deeper, he becomes embroiled with a band of plucky rebels set on fighting back against the elite upper classes — not just because of the power imbalance of French society and the horrific conditions forced on the peasantry, but because, as it turns out, the blue blood is sweeping through the aristocracy and causes a penchant for cannibalism.

Your enjoyment of “La Révolution” will rely on a willingness to overlook historical inaccuracy and a relatively strong stomach — the show is certainly not beholden to anything as trivial as facts, and there’s some pretty gruesome violence. If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, however, there’s an enjoyable show here. It’s a little schlocky and heavy-handed at times, but the cast (headed by an earnest Amir El-Kacem as Joseph and Marilou Aussilloux as the spirited Elise de Montargis) confront the fanciful premise head on. And the show is all the better for it. This is not high drama, and the show butts up against its own far-fetched concept on a semi-regular basis. But it is entertaining, and there’s a lot to be said for that.


Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Updated 30 November 2020

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

  • An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration
  • Restoration has reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire

PARIS: Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will echo with song on Christmas Eve as it holds its first choir concert since the massive fire that nearly destroyed the gothic masterpiece last year.
An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration after the devastating blaze that struck on April 15, 2019.
Since then only two events have been held in the 13th-century landmark — a small mass celebrated in June 2019, and a prayer ceremony last April to mark Holy Friday.
The church remains closed to the public during the renovations.
Michel Aupetit, the archbishop of Paris, said Monday that two soloists would lead the choir and that the concert would be broadcast on radio.
Last week, the restoration reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire and threatened to crash to the floor.
That will allow crucial stabilization and protective work to proceed ahead of rebuilding the destroyed roof and spire.
Officials are racing to meet President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of having the cathedral restored within five years.