Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Casanova (2005)

Casanova is a light hearted romantic comedy directed by Lasse Hallstrom, starring the  Heath Ledger as the protagonist. The movie is supposed to be loosely based on the life of Giacomo Casanova, an Italian adventurer and author, who was also famous for his elaborate complicated love affairs with women, earning the title, womanizer. Casanova also enjoyed the protection of the Doge and was well known in the European social circles including Popes and Cardinals.

Since the movie is only a loose sketch of the real Casanova, you can only look at it through the film maker's lens and his interpretation on screen. Casanova (Heath Ledger) is left in the care of this grandmother by his mother, who promises to return for him soon. He promises to make himself irresistible and soon grows up to be a womanizer, wooing nuns as well. His famous escapades become the public's delight and the Church's nightmare. While puppetry shows depict his famous escapades, the Church sends the bishop, Pucci (the indomitable Jeremy Irons) to arrest and hang the heretic. The Doge gives Casanova an ultimatum to either get married or be banished from Venice forever. While hunting for a fiancee, while believing to be dueling her brother by a turn of events, Casanova falls in love with Francesca (Sienna Miller) when he discovers her true identity. Unfortunately for Casanova, his lady love is a feminist who writes under the pseudonym Bernardo Guardi and does not care for his wayward life. She is also engaged to Paaprizza (Oliver Platt) whom she has never met and whom Casanova tricks by taking on the former's identity to woo his love.

The movie was absolutely entertaining. It is always a treat to watch the steely Jeremy Irons, chubby and lovable Oliver Platt and the charming Heath Ledger on the big screen. The costumes and the period drama setting get additional brownie points. 

Overall, a good pick for a relaxing weekend.

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