The Man In The Iron Mask
Nick Moore - Logan Weatherford
A ferocious battle in the city that never sleeps.
Synopsis of the Original
Aramis, one of the former musketeers and a bishop, goes to the Bastille to visit Philippe, the imprisoned twin brother of the current king, Louis XIV. He tells Philippe that he can put him on the throne, switching him with his brother. Philippe is apprehensive at first, but Aramis insists the two men can do great things together. At a party, thrown by Fouquet, one of the king's advisors, Aramis plans to make the switch. The king is not pleased with the party's lavishness, and uses missing money from the treasury as a reason to arrest Fouquet. He tells D'Artagnan, the captain of the musketeers and friend of Athos, Porthos, and Athos, to watch over Fouquet during the night until the king makes a final decision. Aramis kidnaps Louis XIV and puts Philippe in his place. Philippe, as king, says he will not arrest Fouquet. Aramis, overjoyed that his plan has worked and his friend is free, tells Fouquet about the switch of kings, but Fouquet quickly goes to free the king and set things right. Aramis and another former musketeer, Porthos, are forced to flee to Belle-Isle, one of Fouquet's islands. The king does not immediately arrest Fouquet, taking all his money before finally doing so. D'Artagnan chases after Fouquet on horseback and brings him in for the king. Athos, another former musketeer, is living with his son, Raoul. Raoul is in love with Louise la Vallerie, his former lover, but she is the mistress of the king. To escape his anguish, Raoul goes to Africa, where he hopes to die in battle since he knows he will soon die of a broken heart anyway. D'Artagnan is ordered by the king to capture Porthos and Aramis, after taking Philippe to a new prison on St. Marguerite. D'Artagnan pursues them, but resigns instead of capturing his friends, unable to betray them. Aramis and Porthos try to defend themselves, but Porthos dies in the battle. Aramis escapes to Spain, where he becomes a duke. King Louis XIV convinces D'Artagnan not to resign, but cooperate with the king's will. Louis XIV pardons Aramis. Raoul is killed in action in Africa, and Athos dies as soon as he hears of his son's death. D'Artagnan eventually leads the king's army in an attack against Holland. He is soon promoted to marshal for his dedication to his country, but is killed by a cannonball right after learning of his promotion.
Review of Current Movie
No one knows who the man in the mask was, but his dangerous identity must have been the whole point of the mask, so the twin brother theory is as good as any. "The Man in the Iron Mask" includes a return appearance by the Three Musketeers. They come out of retirement in a scheme to rescue France from the cruel fist of the young, spoiled king. The actual mechanics of the plan within the film are not possible. Does anyone think Jeremy Irons is large enough to smuggle Leonardo DiCaprio past suspicious guards under his cloak? The director should have dreamed up a better plan. The substitution of the king and his twin is accomplished at a fancy dress ball, where the conspirators drive Louis XIV wild with fear by convincing him he sees iron masks everywhere. This works quite well and sticks remarkably close to the book. But the movie, as a whole, limits itself to the action in the plot--escapes, sword fights, the frequent incantation "all for one and one for all". Leonardo DiCaprio is the star of the story without being its hero, and his first emergence from the mask is an effective shot. The three musketeers are cast well, to my surprise the best performance is by Gabriel Byrne, who has the most charisma and is the most convincing. His scenes with Parillaud (from "La Femme Nikita") are some of the best in the movie. Once all the pieces of the plot were in place, I could see the influence of the novel, however, it is true that this was a loose interpretation.
a. Friendship: the backbone of The Man in the Iron Mask, but it rapidly disintegrates throughout the book. The four men, once bound by their motto of "all for one and one for all," have grown apart from one another. Different motivations threaten the once inseparably loyal friends. Their friendship that was once very simple is now complicated.
b. Memory: the four friends are haunted by their past as four young and courageous men. The past in The Man in the Iron Mask is thus held dear as it embodies the age of romantic chivalry – an age which is clearly slipping away.
c. Justice: whatever the King says it is, which makes us wonder exactly how just the system is. Unlike what we saw in The Three Musketeers, justice in The Man in the Iron Mask is a subjective issue, how it sometimes is today.
a. The Bastille: Philippe and the plot are introduced. Aramis convinces him that he will be able to be a better king and that the plan is worth it.
b. The Party: At a party, thrown by Fouquet, one of the king's advisors, Aramis plans to make the switch. The king is not pleased with the party's lavishness, and uses missing money from the treasury as a reason to arrest Fouquet. He tells D'Artagnan, the captain of the musketeers and friend of Athos, Porthos, and Athos, to watch over Fouquet during the night until the king makes a final decision.
c. The Switch: Aramis kidnaps Louis XIV and puts Philippe in his place. Aramis, overjoyed that his plan has worked and his friend is free, tells Fouquet about the switch of kings, but Fouquet quickly goes to free the king and set things right.
Our Modern Take
Situation: The founder of a corporation passes and leaves behind no plan of succession. The only thing he notes in his will is that only one of his 2 sons are to keep control of the company. Louis, one of the twins, learns of this plan before his brother Philip and is able to get him arrested for embezzlement of company funds as he acts currently as the company’s chief accountant. Louis, for 6 months, runs the company with an iron fist, not allowing for any outside help from the board chairs. Adam Aramis, a former Silicon Valley tycoon that helped prevent Y2K, plots a plan to switch the brothers. At a party celebrating the company’s recent successes, Aramis brings in the authorities charging Louis with actually committing the charges put against his brother. A large court case ensues to take the place of the battles within the novel. Frank Fouquet, Louis’s right hand man, leads the defense for Louis, while Aramis and Porthos defend Philip. The case is full of twists and turns and almost destructive arguments. The final closing argument is dealt by Michael D’Artagnan, however he is unable to discredit Aramis and Porthos who have been close friends of his for a long period. Athos and Raoul are both called as key character witnesses Both Philip and Louis are found not guilty of the charges when papers are uncovered that their father committed the embezzlement. Louis gives up his position as Chief Executive in favor of a board that equally distributes power between himself, Philip, Aramis, Porthos, Fouquet, and D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan is killed by a car right after learning of this promotion.
The Difference: Action is in the courtroom and the switch between Philip and Louis is short felt. Athos and Raoul are essentially abandoned except only as non-important witnesses to the case. Fouquet is never charged with any wrongdoing.
A song to be heard during the switch and emphasize the exuberance of the party.
A song showing Louis's abuse of power.
A song for the mood of the courtroom battles.
D'Artagnan: People admire D'Artagnan for his loyalty and heroism. He is the last musketeer remining in the King’s service, carrying out orders he doesn’t agree with.
Actor- Ed Harris, Hugh Laurie
Scene- Courtroom, unable to discredit his friends.
Aramis: Somehow being a soldier and priest and spy; Aramis usually finds a way to get into trouble or find it no matter how good the circumstances.
Actors- Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan
Scene- The Switch at the party
Athos: Constantly grieving for his son and somehow he believes he can communicate with him through his dreams. Does not like the King.
Actors- George Clooney, Sean Bean
Scene- Courtroom, key witness
Porthos: A true gentle giant, although he does have a tough guy front, he uses his strength to help his friends. He is the first musketeer to die.
Actors- Lou Ferrigno, Andre the giant
Scene- Courtroom, prosecution
Louis/Philip: Extremely arrogant, he changes from a child boy-like king to asserting his full dominance over his kingdom. Philip is the polar opposite
Actors- Jack Gleeson, Dylan Sprouse
Scene- scenes throughout, abusing power or failing to do so. and the prison.
This movie provides a modern interpretation with a more civilized method of battle.