Friday, August 20, 2010

Tennant Delights: Casanova

The 'Tennant Delights' series will consist almost entirely of reviews of his television and film work, as well as audiobooks, documentaries and anything that takes my fancy - Tennant related!

Casanova is a 2005 British television comedy drama serial, written by television scriptwriter Russell T Davies and directed by Sheree Folkson.
Telling the story of the life of 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova, based on his own twelve-volume memoirs, the one-hour episodes star Peter O'Toole as the older Casanova looking back on his life, and David Tennant as the younger version. The story is wittily presented as we get to know most of Casanova's mistresses and love affairs, whilst dealing with what's really important for him: Henriette, bride-to-be to another man, Grimani. Eventually, Giac (pronounced 'Jack') gets his reward, his lover, but all his aventures catch up with him and his heart is broken forever... Can this man survive such a heartbreak goodbye to the woman he loves?

Ah, Casanova. I've wanting to write a post about it for ever. It is so witty, so amazingly and deliciously funny - of course it was penned by RTD, who else to write all those wacky scenes? There's a bit of everything in there: drama, romance, comedy, you name it. I understand Casanova doesn't have a clean reputation: he had numerous love affairs, cheated on his mistresses and did stuff most of us wouldn't approve of, but the story presented makes you feel sorry for this wonderful man: despite having all the sex and women we could ever imagine, he doesn't have the woman he loves, and that's devastating for both the viewer and the actual character.

As usual, I have got to praise David's performance in this: he made me laugh, he made me cry and he even left me speechless at times. His versatility is remarkable, and I think that was key to the success that Casanova had: one time he was sad, then he was thrilled and jumping around, then he was devastated and then he was, how to put it... having 'fun', so to speak. Some actors could be caught up with all this tangled web of emotions, but David wasn't and that's why Casanova is so incredibly amazing. Peter O'Toole was fantastic as well as the older version of the heartthrob, delivering, not unlike Tennant, that bittersweet mix of angst and excitement about his life.
It is, obviously, a must-see and, dare I say it, David looks good in it!, even with slightly blonde hair and blue contacts.


Helen said...

Casanova is FANTASTIC! I am utterly in love with Giac. He's a very naughty boy! :)

But as you say, he also does pathos and heartbreak so well.

I'm a relative new-comer to this, as I only just got the DVD but I found it magical. The end is so tear-jerking - I'm tearing up thinking about it!

Like in Doctor Who the music is lovely and atmospheric, and can bring a tear just thinking about it, especially the dance between Giac and Henriette. Another masterly composition (as is the whole score) by Murray Gold.

And of course our David gets to dance - his favourite thing! ;)

Buy it, borrow it *whispers* nick it if you have to! But WATCH IT!

Fran said...

OH YES! :D Thanks for that WONDERFUL comment!