Fed up with historical dramas, Jack Warner is said to have snarled at his producers: “Don’t give me any more pictures where they write with feathers.” He could have had “The Affair of the Necklace” in mind. This is the kind of movie that used to be called a bodice-ripper, and still could, if only more bodices were ripped. It tells the story of a scandal that prepares the way for the French Revolution, and involves a silly girl who thinks she can outsmart a cardinal, a royal jeweler, Marie Antoinette–and Cagliostro, the leader of the Illuminati, played by Christopher Walken. One look at Cagliostro, and she should know she’s in over her head.
The film stars Hilary Swank as Jeanne St. Remy de Valois, who, after her marriage of accommodation, progresses toward becoming Jeanne de la Motte-Valois. The agent name is “Valois.” It is her family name, and she was stranded as a kid after her folks were associated with plans against the crown. She longs for reestablishing the grandness of her family name and coming back to the family house where she spent her adolescence, and to do this, she unfurls a plan of brassy brave.
She realizes that Cardinal Louis de Rohan (played by Jonathan Pryce in a suitable condition of wrongdoing) wishes to be executive. She persuades him that Marie Antoinette will be all the more positively arranged toward his motivation on the off chance that he gives the ruler a breathtaking jewelry containing 647 precious stones. She gets the cash from the cardinal, acquires the neckband from the imperial diamond setter, keeps it for herself, utilizes it to repurchase her family home and manufactures letters from the ruler to the cardinal to cover the misdirection. What was she considering? That the ruler had such a large number of accessories she could never have the capacity to represent one pretty much? Furthermore, that the cardinal could never set out allude straightforwardly to the exchange? This sort of skullduggery (a word really utilized as a part of the film) would be more fitting in the hands of a performing artist who incorporates mischievous conspiring among her claims to fame – a Helena Bonham Carter, say, or Catherine Zeta-Jones. Hilary Swank, who was so brilliant in her Oscar-winning work in “Young men Don’t Cry” (1999), radiates truthworthiness, which is the wrong quality for this task. She likewise exemplifies a specific brave powerlessness, when what is needed for Jeanne Valois is the Monica Lewinsky quality, the capacity to envision herself in the grasp of the colossal. Most importantly, she needs a sort of Bette Davis imperiousness. Hilary Swank, I fear, trusts we should feel frustrated about Jeanne. So does Charles Shyer, who coordinated this motion picture and sends Swank on the wrong task. “The Affair of the Necklace” just works on the off chance that it comprehends Jeanne is one miscreant among many, not a confused courageous woman.
The supporting cast offers accidental joys. Joely Richardson is an imperious, senseless Marie Antoinette, ready to swindle herself yet not regularly beguiled by any other individual. Jonathan Pryce makes the cardinal into a dishonest and insatiable conniver, and Christopher Walken, as usual, motivates trust when he strolls into a plan. Adrien Brody plays Jeanne’s to begin with, insufficient, spouse, and Simon Baker plays the women’s man who plays Jeanne the way she is attempting to play the crown.
In any case, the narrating is miserably traded off by the motion picture’s choice to identify with Jeanne. We can appreciate somebody for setting out to do the brassy, or pity somebody for heedlessly accomplishing something idiotic, however when a character submits a demonstration of moronic boldness, the esteem and pity wipe out each other, and we are left just with the likelihood of joke.