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Lusty romp inspired by the legend of the world's greatest lover; The Big Movie.



THE chameleonic Heath Ledger plays a very different romantic hero, far removed from his tortured loner in Brokeback Mountain, in this playful, lusty romp inspired by the legend of the Renaissance-era bounder.

There are obvious nods to Shakespeare in the script - mistaken identity, cross-dressing and the promotion of women as fearsome opponents in the battle of the sexes.

Yet, despite the 18th-century setting and a profusion of heaving, corseted bosoms, Casanova has a very modern and youthful sensibility.

Ledger and rising star Sienna Miller make an attractive screen couple. There might not be a great deal of sexual chemistry there, but both actors appear to be having fun in their lightweight roles.

Shot on location in Venice, which looks truly gorgeous, Casanova is a likeable wheeze, albeit a rather chaste one.

Characters are sketched in scant detail, relying on the actors to bring their own charisma, comic timing and sensuality to the roles.

Jeremy Irons delivers a masterclass in nostril flaring and scenery chewing as the pantomime villain, Bishop Pucci, while Oliver Platt takes campness to delirious new heights as Papprizzio, the lard king of Genoa.

Production design, which reaches a crescendo during a glittering masked ball, is immaculate throughout.

VERDICT: *****


ROMANTIC HERO... Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller star in Casanova (12A), a story based on the legendary lover.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 17, 2006
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