Director: Lasse Hallström
Starring: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy
Irons, Oliver Platt, Lena Olin
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: BVI
Day: 9 Feb 2006
was the world’s most notorious seducer. A swashbuckler,
master of disguise and wit - it was said no woman could resist
Casanova’s amorous charms. Until now.
the first time in his life, the legendary Casanova (HEATH
LEDGER) is about to meet his match with an alluring Venetian
beauty, Francesca (SIENNA MILLER), who does the one thing
he never thought possible: refuse him. Through a series of
clever disguises and scheming ruses, he manages to get ever
closer to Francesca. But he is playing the most dangerous
game he has ever encountered – one that will risk not
only his life and reputation, but his only chance at true
From Academy Award® nominated director Lasse Hallström
(“Chocolat,” “Cider House Rules”)
comes a rousing romantic comedy about Casanova’s greatest
adventure -- losing his heart. The film also stars Oscar®
Winner Jeremy Irons, as the detective-like Bishop Pucci who
pursues Casanova, hoping to catch him in the act of illicit
seduction, Oscar® nominee Lena Olin as the mother of Francesca,
and Oliver Platt as Paprizzio, Francesca’s betrothed.
is one who belongs in the annals of the history of love alongside
Don Juan DeMarco and Romeo of Shakespeare’s Romeo and
Juliet fame. Sure, you might want to include the Marquis De
Sade but that will be mighty debatable.
and suave, Casanova is an admirer of the female species, famed
for his conquests with the ladies of Venice. The Inquisition
(Court of Justice) on the other hand, thinks otherwise and
seeks to induct him on the counts of fornication and debauchery
to name a few. When the Inquisition learns that Casanova is
being protected by the Doge of Venice, it sends Pucci, a highly
regarded bishop to Venice to capture Casanova. To prevent
the Inquisition from doing so, the Doge orders Casanova to
find himself a wife and stop his wayward ways. While he seeks
to marry the famously virginal Victoria, he starts falling
for the headstrong Francesca Bruni, who is engaged to Papprizzio
Academy Award nominee, Heath Ledger plays the titular character.
Obviously taking this project as an outlet from back-to-back
serious roles in Lords of Dogtown and Brokeback Mountain,
Ledger just wants to have fun. And he does just that playing
Casanova having to escape through windows and run on rooftops.
However, all that fun makes him a less worthy opponent to
the feminist Francesca Bruni in the area of wit. Unable to
counter her with witty remarks, he spouts and quotes Bernardo
Guardi instead, Francesca’s favourite writer.
is played with much aplomb by Sienna Miller. Resigned to supporting
roles in films like Alfie and Layer Cake, her star is set
to rise after Casanova. She brings forth much charm to the
silver screen rivaling Diane Kruger’s Helen in Troy.
The cross-dressing Francesca has been written in shades of
Portia from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. She disguises
as a professor to enter female-forbidden places like the university
to debate about the roles that females can play in Venetian
society of the eighteenth century.
of the cast is rounded off by a prosthetic-enhanced Oliver
Platt playing Papprizzio, the lard king of Genoa and Francesca’s
fiancé. Platt draws much laughter as the rotund fellow
who is afraid of meeting Francesca for the first time. Casanova
entertains Papprizzio and convinces him that his weight problem
can be helped. Academy Award winner, Jeremy Irons, is Pucci,
hell bent on hanging Casanova. An actor of his stature might
feel like a fish out of water but Irons, is no stranger to
campy fares having acted in Dungeons and Dragons.
sets and costumes of eighteenth century Venice are lavish
and spectacular, suitable for the caper that Casanova is.
If any, this version of Casanova portrays him as a lover with
a childish nature as opposed to the Casanova who’s more
or less set for world, I mean, female domination. The result
is a comedy of errors sans nudity or actual sex.
Award nominated director, Lasse Hallstrom’s vision of
Casanova is one that is clueless for its lack of proper direction
in knowing what kind of film it wants to be. The consolation
is though; Casanova is actually a fairly comedic tale of love.
is a comedy of errors that would draw enough laughter to make
you feel that you’re actually having fun)
by Mohamad Shaifulbahri