Friday, July 21, 2006

"CASANOVA"

Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Lena Olin, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt, Omid Djalili

"A partially true story about lies told,
virtue lost and love found"


Giacomo Casanova


Casanova's name is now synonymous with a lothario who seduces women. Well, of course he does more than just seduce them but you know what I mean.

In this delightful movie about him, Heath Ledger does justice to the role. He is charming, ruggedly handsome, has a mischievous grin and is quite adept with a sword. A dashing swashbuckling hero who has the right amount of charisma to charm the ladies. The setting is in breathtakingly panoramic Venezia (Venice), Italy. During an era known for lavish parties, a string of very fascinating characters like The Doge, Bishops and Counts, colorful yet stuffy attires, ornately designed edifices, gaudy mansions and palaces as well as a period in history when the Roman Catholic church was very powerful.

The supporting cast which consisted of good talented actors such as Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin, Oliver Platt among others were all such a delight to watch. Perfect comedic timing, delivering witty dialogue and simply blending quite well in such scenic cinematography. I was especially amused by the character of Lupo, Casanova's servant/partner in crime/sidekick. He managed to flesh out an otherwise inconsequential character. His antics were quite funny.

You would think that a film about debauchery and passionate romps would be vulgar to watch yet Lasse Hallstrom's masterful direction presented us the audience with a nice weave of artistry that blends with a flowing story line and a lot of chuckle moments.

I've been meaning to catch this film ever since I knew that Heath Ledger would be in the lead role. But somehow when it was shown in the cinemas, I believe I was out of town or something I don't remember. He has this raw energy which is present in whatever role he portrays. I've been his fan since I saw his well crafted performance in that heroic epic "The Four Feathers". Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller as Francesca Bruni share an apparent chemistry that sizzles on screen but not from sexual undertones but through their witty exchange of dialogue. They looked good together as a couple as opposed to his leading lady in "The Four Feathers", Kate Hudson but hey I'm not reviewing that movie so I better just leave it at that.

The word that keep coming to my mind when I think of this film is whimsical. Beautiful costume design, gorgeous cinematography, grand Baroque musical score, excellent bunch of talented cast and a refreshing love story that transcends time.
Oh I thought it was really hilarious whenever they used the word "fornicator" several times in the course of the film.

Holy Damnation! What a blasphemy!

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