Descending from Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger moves into a completely different characterization as the womanizing Casanova. You might believe you know the tale of this most legendary gigolo. Casanova, however, adds a romanticized spin. The film is satirical and whimsical, but you can also take it as a cautionary tale of suffering the consequences of a deviant past. The lovely Sienna Miller, who gives a delightful performance as the astute, exquisite Francesca Bruni, accompanies Ledger.
The digitally mastered 2.35:1 anamorphic video is lush and clean, and the colors superbly render the period of the film. As captivating as the film (and Ledger) is, however, the blue-screen artifacts are an unfortunate distraction, not only for obvious reasons, but also because this is not the type of movie that requires many—if any—special effects. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is fine and doesn’t involve a lot of work from your speakers. The sound is crisp enough for the dialogue to come through clearly.
Special features include “Creating an Adventure,” a featurette on the making of Casanova, along with “Dressing in Style,” highlighting the design of the costumes. Both are worth the extra minutes lounging on the couch. Other features include an extended sequence from the movie and “Visions of Venice,” a documentary on re-creating 18th-century Venice.
Casanova, with its proper amount of farce and romance, is both entertaining and adventurous, reminding us that falling in love doesn’t always have to be so melodramatic. It can also be fun.