Knights in shining armor fighting for honor and glory but most importantly for their King and his kingdom, even if that might be the last thing they do. You might think this review is about another remake of King Arthur and his round table, but it isn’t. We’re talking Guillaume Enard and Jonathan Delerue latest film Par Le Sang (By Blood), a story we’ve all seen before but with an incredible mysterious vibe.
He used to be a ferocious warlord, who won battle after battle, but now King Mort-Lieu (Pascal Greggory) is an old and sick man. His regular routine preparing his son for battle and ruling is being disturbed by a dark and furtive knight who’s looking over their kingdom. Because of being at the end of his life, Mort-Lieu is convinced Death himself is coming for one last battle. Wanting to prove to his dying father that he’s ready to take over the crown and following in his father’s footsteps, the king’s son (Jonas Bloquet) is going face-to-face with the knight (François-David Cardonnel). Will he be able to defeat this secretive creature, or will the king have to bury his own son before his own funeral?
By Blood might seem like any other medieval but it’s not. The incredibly obscure vibe is what divides this movie from the rest. The very first scene already sets the tone of the movie with its mystical and bombastic vibe. It’s not only the shady sword-wielding knight all dressed in black but also the combination with the red shade represent all the blood he has on his hands. The dark colors, the mystifying story, and grandiose score kept us captivating for the entire movie. Sadly, it was only 20 because we would gladly have seen more about of Mort-Lieu and his kingdom.
We should not only praise Malik Brahimi (Vaurien, Paris la blanche) and his cinematography team but also the actors. Led by Greggory (Three Adventures of Brooke, Non-Fiction) as the merciless king who wants to fight until his very last breath. He is determined, ready for action and tenacious to go to the battlefield but is held back by his own decreasing health. As his on-screen son, we see Bloquet (Orphan, Elle) who’s sharp as the knight who’s not afraid of the battlefield at all. Of course, there’s also some womanly power in By Blood, coming from Anne Charrier (Crash Test Aglaé, L’invitation) who certainly knows how to portray the incredible strong-headed but supportive Queen Alinor. By Blood wouldn’t be anything without its mystic knight. If you would be wondering who’s underneath the helmet, it’s Cardonnel from short films such as Love at First Heist and Two Lines.
If you’re a fan of medieval stories about knights fighting for prestige and dignity in battles of life and death, then By Blood is exactly what you need to see. The wonderful acting performances, dark and shady cinematography combined with flamboyant music makes a film a brilliant watch.
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine