The Art of Seduction: Ehrengard" A Modern Fairy Tale Farce can be seen on Netflix.

The Art of Seduction: Ehrengard” A Modern Fairy Tale Farce can be seen on Netflix.

Danish author Karen Blixen (who also wrote under the name Isak Dineson) is best known for books like “Out of Africa” and “Babette’s Feast,” but the new Netflix movie “Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction” is based on one of her works written after she died. It’s a modern fairy tale with a surprising twist at the end about a man who bets that he can make a woman love him. She finds out about the bet and turns the tables on him, which is too bad for him.

In the opening shot, the made-up country of Babenhausen has a castle on top of a cliff. Ehrengard, played by Alice Bier Zanden, is a beautiful noblewoman who lives in the castle. She puts on a fencing mask and spars with a man all over the castle grounds until they are both sweaty and need to take off their masks to catch their breath.

The main idea is that Mikkel Boe Flsgaard plays Cazotte, a poor portrait painter who is good at both making art and seducing people. At least Sidse Babett Knudsen, the Duchess of Babenhausen, Storhertuginden, thinks he’s hot… She attacks him while he is painting her picture, but he pushes her away so as not to upset her husband, the Grand Duke. But Storhertuginden is still sure that Cazotte knows something about women. At the party where her picture is unveiled to the public, she comes up with a plan: her sick husband is about to die. Prince Lothar, who is not married, can’t receive the throne and take over for his father because of old rules, but he’s terrible with women. Storhertuginden asks Cazotte to teach her son how to flirt so that he can woo a possible queen and take over the throne before his dad dies.

Cazotte asks the Duchess to set him up with Ehrengard, a beautiful but cold noblewoman, so he can paint her picture, which is the fencer from the first scene. Cazotte keeps his end of the deal, and soon after taking on Lothar, the prince marries a young noblewoman named Ludmilla. The Duchess has to tell Cazotte some bad news, though: Ehrengard’s stuffy, royal father doesn’t like Cazotte or his portrait-painting skills and won’t let his daughter be painted by Cazotte. Cazotte is okay with that, so he goes on. Up until…

It is found out that Ludmilla is expecting a child. Getting a little too big. If anyone found out that she had a child with Prince Lothar before they were married, it would make him unfit for the crown. In particular, Lothar must give up the throne to the Grand Duke’s sneaky cousin, who is next in line for the throne, if he finds out that the child was conceived before the marriage. The Duchess asks Cazotte for help, so he comes up with a plan: Lothar, Ludmilla, Cazotte, and a small group of servants will go to a very remote house to wait out the pregnancy so no one will know about it or see Ludmilla’s belly. They can send Ehrengard there to serve as Ludmilla’s maid. Cazotte bets the Duchess that if he can get Ehrengard to like him, he’ll make the Duchess fall in love with him and let him paint her picture. If he wins the bet, he will get a spot in court. If he fails, the Duchess, who is very horny, will get to sleep with him. (Cazotte’s plan isn’t to make Ehrengard love him. Instead, he wants to seduce her with his art skills. Ehrengard is just a pawn in a game between him and the Duchess.)

From here on out, there are a lot of funny things that happen, like trying to hide the baby from the Duke’s cousin, Ehrengard finding out about Cazotte’s bet with the Duchess, and Cazotte having a duel with Ehrengard’s betrothed (oh, she’s been engaged to someone else the whole time—to the man she was fencing with in the first scene!). The story is told like a traditional fairy tale, and people expect Cazotte to win over Ehrengard. However, what actually happens is more like a modern fairy tale, in which the man is not as handsome or charming as he thinks he is, and the woman is lucky enough to get away from him.

What movies will come to mind? Even though it’s called “The Art of Seduction,” “Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction” isn’t as horny or violent as you might think. It’s more like a tame mix of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

The first two-thirds of the movie are a funny comedy. Cazotte is not the wild libertine that the Duchess thinks he is. Instead, he is more of a sexy doofus, for lack of a better word.

But as the movie goes on, Cazotte goes from being a fool to being a master tactician. He paints Ehrengard naked while she is swimming in a lake without her knowing. He thinks that when she sees the picture, she will be charmed. The longer Cazotte stays with the Duchess, the harder and more difficult his bet with her gets. When Ehrengard finds out that she is the stake in a bet, she manages to turn the tables on him. Not only does she not return his love, but she also goes back to her fiancé, Kurt.

Even though the movie is a modern take on a standard fairy tale, the ending might be happier if we saw it from Ehrengard’s point of view, since she was the one who won. In the conclusion, we only learn that she got a place in the court of the new Duchess. It’s a great honor for her, but it doesn’t feel like the strong, girl-power ending she gets. But then we find out that Cazotte’s story also has a happy ending: he goes to Rome and spends the rest of his life there dating all the beautiful women.

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