The Four Musketeers
The revenge of Milady - Based on the screenplay by George Mac Donald Fraser
Bantam Books - 1975 - États-Unis
Ce petit roman est la "novellisation" du film The
Four Musketeers de Richard Lester (tourné avec une
de stars: Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael
York, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin, Jean-Pierre Cassel,
Faye Dunaway, Charlton Heston, etc..).
Convenablement écrit, le roman n'en a pas moins aucun
intérêt. Les distorsions par rapport à l'histoire
originale, qui passent fort bien dans un film enlevé comme
sait en faire Richard Lester, sonnent ici cruellement faux: incohérences
chronologiques (le récit se concentre sur l'épisode
de La Rochelle et l'affrontement entre d'Artagnan et Milady,
mais est censé se passer après l'affaire des ferrets
de la Reine), transformation de personnages (Constance Bonacieux
apparaît comme totalement demeurée) et de l'intrigue
(c'est Planchet qui est envoyé en Angleterre prévenir
Buckingham des intrigues de Milady).
De bons gags visuels deviennent poussifs quand ils sont décrits,
comme les mousquetaires retranchés dans le fortin de La
Rochelle et renvoyant les bombes jetées par les Protestants
à coup de baguettes de pain, comme s'ils jouaient au golf...
Un livre à oublier, donc.
Extrait du chapitre trois
Despite the grace of her form and the beauty of her face,
Constance Bonacieux possessed not much intellect. She was also,
to a degree, accident-prone. Stall-holders in the market where
she was well known enjoyed feasting their eyes on her but tended
to wince apprehensively when she approached their stalls. Almost
always the wake of her passing was marked with vegetables accidentally
knocked off the stalls by her swishing gown, prime fruits bruised
and gashed from falling from her clumsy grasp, coins dropped
between the cobbles and left to the vendors to find.
On this particular morning she was causing something of a stir
in front of a stall selling live and dead poultry and game. She
had thrust one hand into the innards of a fowl - a dead one -
and, being Constance, found that she could not withdraw it. The
poulterer looked on gloomily as D'Artagnan came to her assistance,
seizing the bird in both his leather-gloved hands and heaving
while Constance pulled away in the opposite direction. In due
course her hand came out, with a strange sound, and both she
and D'Artagnan almost fell from the impetus. D'Artagnan replaced
the fowl on the stall and smiled apologetically at the poulterer.
"You don't want it?" the man said, resigned.
D'Artagnan took Constance's arm and led her away. She began to
explain, "My mother always said you could tell if they were
fresh by ... Oh, peaches! Aren't they beautiful?"
She picked up one and stroked it against her cheek, watched,
fascinated, by the stall-holder.
"Beside you, Constance, my dearest," D'Artagnan declared,
"they look old and wrinkled."
She smiled back affection, and, forgetting the tenderness of
ripe peaches, unthinkingly squeezed it. It burst.
Her attention was already elsewhere. "Ah, melons,"
she cried, moving, and in doing so dislodged a pumpkin which
rolled off the stall and thundered down onto D'Artagnan's foot.
He sighed and fished in his pocket. He held out a small coin
to the stall-holder. "This is for the fruit Madame buys."
He poured more coins into the man's other hand. "This is
for what she destroys."
Constance, oblivious, had picked up two melons and was holding
them up in front of her.
"Do I need melons?" she asked ingenuously. A snigger
went up as bystanders nudged one another. The comparison was
all too plain.
"Decidedly not," D'Artagnan assured her, and scowled
at a man who winked at him.