Lines of Wellington


Action / Drama / History / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

John Malkovich Photo
John Malkovich as Duke of Wellington
Isabelle Huppert Photo
Isabelle Huppert as Cosima Pia
Catherine Deneuve Photo
Catherine Deneuve as Severina
Jemima West Photo
Jemima West as Maureen
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.26 GB
Portuguese 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 31 min
P/S ...
2.42 GB
Portuguese 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 31 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by filipemanuelneto7 / 10

Much better than most Portuguese films, it still has rough edges to file.

"As Linhas de Wellington" is a war drama made, in co-production, by Portugal and France, and portrays the final phase of the French Invasions in Portugal. Defeated in the Battle of Bussaco, the soldiers of the French general Massena continue towards Lisbon, forcing the Anglo-Portuguese armies to retreat to the Lines of Torres Vedras, a massive set of artillery fortifications and entrenched paths designed not to let the invader pass, and also, protect a possible British withdrawal from the country. Without means and weapons to force the passage, Massena will come to give up the invasion, retreating to Spain, months later, always chased by British soldiers.

Well, I tend to be a little pessimistic about Portuguese cinema, but considering the big budget of the film and the big names involved in the cast I decided to give it a try. And, I confess, I was impressed by the quality of the final product, much higher than normal for Portuguese cinema.

Let's first talk about the technical details of the film, which I think is one of its strongest points. In fact, it is rare for a film in Portugal to have such good production values. Here we have an excellent photograph, impeccable scenery, excellent costumes and makeup, faithful to the period portrayed, a good job of filming and editing and also a very good soundtrack, which is in your ear. It is perfectly possible to see where so much money has been spent, and well spent. I think the film is a little dark, in that gray is a very present color in photography, but I think it combined well with the plot and ambience of the film.

Another point where the film exceeded my expectations was the cast and their work. The most resonant name is that of John Malkovich, an actor twice nominated for Oscar, well known in Hollywood and who has resided in Portugal for some years. Being the cast's most resonant name, it should have a presence and protagonism in the plot ... but the script is limited to showing Wellington discussing with his painter, in philosophical ramblings about a steak or in moments of meditation, with lighted candles. It is manifestly little work for an actor like Malkovich, which can be a nonsense, depending on the money he earned from the film. Not to mention that, unlike Malkovich, Wellington was younger and had short hair. Also other big names, like Isabelle Huppert, Melvil Poupaud, Catherine Deneuve and her daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, only appear in cameo. That is, the great actors who could boost the film with their talent and give the Portuguese cast something to learn are rarely used, they just appear and help the film to sell. That is, to say the least, stupid.

The real cast, which really appears and represents, is composed of a hard core where we see good Portuguese actors like Nuno Lopes (a sergeant from a Portuguese Battalion of Hunters),Marisa Paredes (a Spanish widow),Carloto Cotta (a Portuguese officer) , Victoria Guerra (a fiery Englishman),Marcello Urgeghe (a British officer),Jemima West (the bride of an English officer who dies in the conflict),Miguel Borges (a usurer merchant),Filipe Vargas (an aristocrat in search of his missing wife ),Adriano Luz (a Portuguese poet, initially at the side of the French, who disappoints and deserts to fight on the Portuguese side) Elsa Zylberstein (a nun),Albano Jerónimo (a priest who takes up arms against the French),Joana de Verona (a woman struggling to avenge her son's death and the abuses she suffered),Gonçalo Waddington (a spy),Maria João Bastos (the aristocrat's wife) and Paulo Pires (a military officer). Everyone was reasonably well, but Nuno Lopes, Jemima West, Adriano Luz and Albano Jerónimo deserve special congratulations for their good work. I would also highlight Joana de Verona, to whom the film reserves one of the most suffered and dramatic characters. Victoria Guerra also does a good job and has an excellent English accent, but the scenes where she appears naked are expendable and could have been cut, had it not been for the bad Portuguese habit of involving sex in everything.

Anyone who expects to see a war film, or a historical film, will certainly be disappointed. The historical personages are limited to appearing fleetingly, the historical facts are portrayed, but the film is not about them. We hardly see a fight scene, with the exception of a few skirmishes. It is a film about ordinary people, whom the war deeply affects, and about their personal dramas. Seen in this light, it is a competent film, which has more quality than the garbage that Portuguese cinema usually presents. But it is far from perfect and there is an underuse of notable actors that is not understood, except for possible issues related to the fee to be paid.

Reviewed by mario_c6 / 10

The production is very good, but as a movie it disappoints!

Set in a very hard period of Portuguese history, the French invasions (It was the last time Portugal was invaded by a foreign army),LINHAS DE WELLINGTON is a movie that essentially worth for that: history!

It's not a history lesson or something, but in my point of view the strong features of this film are just characterization and production. I mean the settings, the costumes, the all ambiance created portraying this period of history (beginning of the XIX century) are very good, and above the normal standards of Portuguese films/productions; but all the rest is not that good and it's even a bit disappointing I must say!

In my opinion the movie is too long extended (it wasn't needed over two hours and half to a plot like that! At parts it even seems to have all those minutes just to be more similar to the epic movie that tries to be, but it's not! The musical score also falls in this fallacy…) and it's very slow paced (even a bit boring at parts).

There're no action scenes (absolutely needed to a movie that aspires to be connected to the epic genre, I think…) and the plot is divided for so many characters that (as some other IMDb users said) we almost don't even know who are the most important to this movie! The Duke of Wellington is terribly portrayed by John Malkovich, not because of his fault (he's a great actor by the way),but because the way it was chosen to portray such important figure… Not to mention the roles of Catherine Deneuve or Chiara Mastroianni (among others) which just appear in the movie just to make a presence and put their names in the cast…

So, for too many reasons, I think this movie tries to be something bigger than it really is… It's missing here a lot of things to make it a really epic and remarkable film! Before I watch it I was expecting one of the best Portuguese movies ever but after 30 minutes of watching it my illusion vanished… It's one of the best in production though (very nice costumes and sets).

Reviewed by valadas8 / 10

Technically reproach-less

In 1810 Napoleon sent Marshal Massena (who was famous then and called "the dear son of the victories" I think that by Napoleon himself) to invade Portugal for the third time (French army had been defeated there twice before). The Franch army now entered the center of the country and marched to the south with relative facility despite having been beaten at Buçaco by the Anglo-Portuguese troops who began to withdraw to the south till they reached the Lines of Torres Vedras a huge mass of fortifications built in secret by Wellington in the previous one and half year behind which they entrenched themselves always under Wellington command. The French army after being before the Lines for some time realized they were unconquerable and retreated for good. This movie is about that but who is hoping to see a historical movie may be somewhat disappointed because though the story develops itself having that war as a background it is much more about the personal adventures and misadventures of its characters not only the main ones but some minor ones too. It is very good from the technical standpoint I mean the scenes, camera movements, sequences, angles of view, framings and visual details are very good indeed. The acting is also excellent with a luxury cast with such actors like John Malkovich (as Wellington)and the Portuguese Nuno Lopes. The reproduction of the epoch atmosphere in sceneries and costumes is also excellent. The main flaw that can be appointed to this movie is that the story somehow lacks a thread, losing itself among scattered and diverse episodes although very well shown and developed. And in terms of social usages (certain love scenes for instance) and language employed there is some inadequacy to early 19th century seeming much more as belonging to our contemporary meanings and values.

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