Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Casanova


Heath Ledger, as the story goes, immediately called his agent after finishing Brokeback Mountain to get him something more studly. Hence, Casanova.

I have no idea whether or not the story is true, but it would make sense that, for any 26-year-old who was afraid of being typecast as a gay cowboy, there would be some fear and there would be some action. Unfortunately, Casanova, while supposedly the story of the famous Italian lover, is not worthy of Ledger's talents.

The movie starts out charmingly enough. Casanova is caught in the act -- in a convent, no less -- and sets up a comic circumstance we'll increasingly expect but which is delivered haltingly.

Casanova the movie is almost Shakespearean in nature, with lots of nom de plumes and mistaken identities. And it's filled with some wonderful character actors, like Oliver Platt and Jeremy Irons, who can play comedy well. Unfortunately, the writing is not up to Will's standards, and we're left with a smile or two, but nothing substantial.

The love interest, Francesca (played by Sienna Miller), is supposed to be a forward-thinking woman in a land and time where that equates to heresy by the Bishop (Irons). She's been wisely using a shell, who turns out to be a drunk who can neither read nor write. This is an interesting woman for Casanova to be fascinated with, but not enough is really made of this subplot. It's a line or two, and then gone.

In the end, in a movie about Casanova, we expect, well, truth be told, a lot of women, sex, and a glimpse into what made Casanova so casanova-ish. But what we get is a slice-of-life that includes neither women nor sex -- as he casts aside all to pursue Francesca -- and no glimpse at all as to what made him a legend. The viewer gets the very real feeling that we're seeing a Casanova a little too young to have built such a reputation. And we are.

This film, fortunately, will not be the one that holds Ledger's memory. Thumb's down.

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1 Comments:

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

 

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