Publicity Stills of "Casanova"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Romance/Comedy
Director: Lasse Hallström
Starring: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt, Lena Olin
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 9 Feb 2006

Synopsis :

He 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.

For 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 passion.

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.

Movie Review:

Casanova 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.

Charming 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 of Genoa.

Recent 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.

Francesca 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.

The rest 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.

The 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.

Academy 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.

Movie Rating:

(Casanova is a comedy of errors that would draw enough laughter to make you feel that you’re actually having fun)

Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.