- Ridley Scott’s movie “Napoleon” is unexpectedly comedic despite its dark and gritty subject matter.
- Vanessa Kirby believes that the absurdity of Napoleon’s life lends itself well to comedy, balancing out the darkness and cruelty of his regime.
- The cast of the movie found humor necessary to cope with the brutality and intensity of the world they were exploring.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for NapoleonThere is a reason that Ridley Scott’s Napoleon functions as something similar to a comedy. An epic movie focusing on the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais, the movie would naturally possess a dark and gritty tone. Instead, many scenes are interrupted by a quick bit of humor. Even as a largely faithful historical depiction, Scott still manages to maintain comedic elements.
In an interview with IndieWire, Vanessa Kirby, who plays Joséphine, opened up about why the movie has so many funny scenes. To Kirby, the absurdity of Napoleon’s life from beginning to end lends itself well to comedy. Without an edge of humor, the darkness and cruelty of Napoleon’s war-driven regime might have presented too much of an extreme for viewers to comfortably watch. Check out Kirby’s quote below:
“I know that the intention was [for it to be], because of the extremity of the world and the intensity of that life of his, how dangerous it was, and how much risk was involved in all of it,” Kirby said. “I think, naturally, we felt that the other extreme, of that there’s this kind of absurdity, it felt kind of human in a way to have something that was that extreme and difficult with a strange humor. … We all laughed a lot through it, because [of] the brutality of the whole world for everybody, the sort of nature of what we were exploring, and so we had to laugh in between scenes.”