Don Juan De Marco (DVD)

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Don Juan De Marco (DVD)

In this breezy romantic comedy, an aging psychologist gets a new lease on life when he's assigned the task of "curing" a young man who's convinced he ...

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Review of "Don Juan De Marco (DVD)"

published 26/12/2010 | Praski
Member since : 17/01/2009
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Excellent
Pro A Beautiful, Intelligent and Romantic Film
Cons None
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"Don Juan - A Libertine or a Philanderer?"

Don Juan DeMarco was the brainchild of Jeremy Levin whose 1990's screenplay was loosely based on Lord Byron's mythical character of the same name. Apparantely he had always wanted to make a movie about women, love, romance and sex and at the time nobody had made a movie about Don Juan. Byron's work is a very long tome that has a tremendous amount of politics, but some wonderful scenes. Levin freely appropriated some of these scenes and worked them into a screenplay about another issue. That other issue was his own personal experiences as a psychotherapist and his fascination with Don Juan.

For his Don Juan DeMarco screenplay he introduced psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) as the catalyst for his exploration of the grey area between fantasy and reality. After nearly thirty years of listening, encouraging and unravelling other people's miseries, he is all burnt out. He has little left for either his colleagues or his long- suffering wife, Marilyn (Faye Dunaway). He is simply living out the emotions of someone awaiting imminent retirement.

This is until Don Juan DeMarco provides him with the most intriguing and fascinating case of his career. Indeed, DeMarco's tales of love and passion are exactly what Mickler needs to restore his professional etiquette and flagging marriage.

The opening sequence wastes no time introducing the main character, a young man perched precariously on the narrow catwalk at the top of an advertising billboard 40 feet above street level. With his face hidden by a mask, cloaked in flowing cape, and wielding a raised sabre, the figure claims to be Don Juan (Johnny Depp), the world's greatest lover, and the seducer of at least 1,500 women, but he is distraught. And he has every reason to be.

Although he has loved an almost countless number of women, the one woman he actually does love has rejected him. Convincing himself there is nothing, or no one left to love, suicide seems to be the most promising option. Promising that is until Dr Mickler bursts into his enclosed world of angst-ridden self-pity and succeeds where police officers have failed in talking the cloaked madman down from his suicidal perch.

Even on the fringe of professional retreat, Mickler swiftly decides he has nothing to lose by evaluating his now seemingly disillusioned patient with a ten-day course of diagnosis and treatment. Mickler is as delusive as his patient is distraught, and Don Juan takes his new mentor through a series of stories that are at best nothing more than wild erotic adventures. Everything from a childhood in a small Mexican town, a journey to Arabia where he is secretly pressed into service in a harem and an eventual shipwreck which washes him up on to a desert island to encounter his one true love, only to be rejected for openly admitting his past promiscuities.

Needless to say, Mickler is drawn into DeMarco's sagas of love, passion and romance - strikingly photographed in gorgeous, colourful flashback sequences.

Summary
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Don Juan DeMarco is a light, fantasy confection of a movie. And who better for this title role than Johnny Depp? He was born to play this role; his beauteous looks and doe-eyes are the perfect accompaniments to a lifetime of seduction and loving. His character's dialogue is so poetic and beautiful - it is incredible writing, in my view. He creates a character who is slightly cocky and noble, but likeable. Someone who has a strong sense of himself but is still lost. His sense of timing with humour is impeccable and his accent is so beautiful. He is charming, dashing and you really believe he is Don Juan.

Mickler played by Marlon Brando was a good choice as he was Johnny Depp's all time hero and favourite actor and for him to have the opportunity to work alongside him was like a dream come true. Brando himself, of course, more controversial than not during his 40 year career, had made 35 films, and could be said to have influenced much of the screen charisma Johnny now exuded, in much the same way as James Dean and Elvis Presley. I liked the fact that Brando played a slightly comedic role in the film and I have to say that on screen Brando and Depp were a great combination. Both performances were excellent, engaging and flawless.

Equally inspirational was the casting of Faye Dunaway in the pivotal role of Brando's wife. Dunaway, was at the time one of the most acclaimed actresses in Hollywood.

For me, Don Juan was a film about so many things - about what's important in life, and the connection between people. It's a story about life beginning again, about humanity and the way we're all living. Most importantly, it's about staying alive in life.

The film's charm resides in a masterful and beautiful dialogue and Michael Kamen's soundtrack. The song co-written by Bryan Adams and Kamen, is adapted throughout the score as the orchestral theme of the film. Along with Adam's performance of the title song, 'Have You Really Ever Loved A Woman,' a traditional Spanish rendition is also provided in the film which is fabulous. The music draws out the romance of the film and I particularly like the rich guitar sound incorporating Spanish, Mexican and Arabian influences. Exact rhythms and performance characteristics of both Mexico and Spain are utilised offering passion and comedy at the same time.

Finally.......

This film is not a chick flick. It is an intelligent, delightful, romantic film which makes you want to fall in love all over again. It takes you somewhere else. If you are a dreamer you will enjoy this movie. It is heartwarming, funny, romantic, sexy and beautiful. If you are having relationship problems this movie will help you see that there is a way for your love to be rekindled and you will leave the cinema rushing home to kiss your partner on his/her cheek and to say those three words - I LOVE YOU.

Highly Recommended.

Running Time 97 minutes
Certification 15
Lamguage - English

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Comments on this review

  • rojm published 15/02/2011
    great review - may be worth a watch
  • Deesrev published 09/01/2011
    Back with the 'E' as promised, sorry for the delay! : D x
  • AnneLorraine1 published 02/01/2011
    Great review
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Product Information : Don Juan De Marco (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

In this breezy romantic comedy, an aging psychologist gets a new lease on life when he's assigned the task of "curing" a young man who's convinced he is the legendary lover Don Juan de Marco.

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Listed on Ciao since: 02/11/2011