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Yet another lover of Casanova emerges,
This review is from: Casanova  [DVD] (DVD)
Rushed into the shops after its recent screening on B.B.C. Four and One this version written by Russell T Davies sees the classic tale of a charming philanderer brought bang up to date with copious amounts of contemporary wit and energy. It's filmed with vertiginous glee, in fact, at the risk of being arrested by the pun police I'd say it goes like the clappers.
The old Casanova , played with salacious zeal by Peter O Toole, relates his life story to an enraptured Servant who gradually teases out of him the fact his tale of numerous conquests isn't merely a saga of unmitigated lust (Though it's undoubtedly that as well) but has moments of genuine affection and yes god dam it ..Love. Casanova in his pomp is portrayed excellently by David Tennant as a witty charming chancer with the gift of the gab and a smile to make women melt. Events don't always follow the course he intends and though he raises to the very top of Venetian Society, meeting the love of his life, Henriette, along the way and nearly succeeds in wooing her till her wealthy Fiancé sees to it that disgrace follows and so he has to flee and head for pastures new including Paris and London.
Any cast that features the luscious Dervla Kirwan and the excellent Nina Sosanya has a lot going for it but throw in superb cameos from Matt Lucas , Freddie Jones Simon Day and an enrapturing performance from Laura Fraser as Henriette and it would be hard pressed to make this less than watchable . But with stylistic flourishes in the filming , which may annoy fans of more traditional costume dramas , and the decidedly modern vernacular of the script this is costume drama for the 21st Century and to this viewer it's all the better for it. The one surprise is the lack of sex, or rather the lack of graphic sex which is something you would expect from a modern drama but this is a tale told with a twinkle in its bawdy eye so the less than serious, almost saucy postcard approach should really come as no surprise.
Normally I'd rather gargle with brick cleaner than watch some stilted period drama but this was almost a revelation, pacy, funny, colourful and fiendishly entertaining. With this and the return of the excellent new Doctor Who, suddenly T.V. is watchable again.