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Carmen

4.3 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Paz Vega, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Antonio Dechent. Bizet's timeless opera takes shape and form with the fiery gypsy woman Carmen, who uses her charms to seduce a soldier in this award-winning theatrical film with Vicente Aranda directing. 2003/color/119 min/NR.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Paz Vega, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Antonio Dechent, Joan Crosas, Jay Benedict
  • Directors: Vicente Aranda
  • Writers: Vicente Aranda, Joaquim Jordà, Prosper Mérimée
  • Producers: Ana Vila, Bill Chamberlain, Graham Bradstreet, Juan Alexander
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019K4YT8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,571 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carmen" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 24, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Paz Vega creates the steamiest Carmen ever in this gorgeous period drama. She brings the character to life. This isn't Bizet's Carmen, though. This one takes impulsiveness and fiery temper to extremes, and combines that volatile mix with a personality that seems to interact with others only to manipulate them. Then, with raw sensuality as her lure and reward, she brings out the same in men, not just poor José.

The settings come to life almost as much as the characters - that cavernous cigar factory at the start, the cities of nineteenth century Spain (but much older), and the rocky, raw wilds ruled by bandits. Award-winning costumes help too, including gaudy soldier's uniforms, and elaborate recreations of women's clothes, down to humble details like drawers.

Don't expect to like these characters. José's military honor implodes, leaving a shell of murderous jealousy. Carmen herself - kissing a viper seems safer. Not even the lush promise of her body makes that look like such a good deal. Nice people don't make good drama, and these are very dramatic. Recommended, but not for the skin-shy.

-- wiredweird
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Even for the non-opera loving public the name CARMEN is immediately recognized as an opera by Bizet about a gypsy girl whose capricious loves destroy men. But as much as the opera is now considered a staple in every opera house repertoire, the real story of the wild gypsy lass as created by Prosper Mérimée in 1845 has never been told as well as in this cinematic version by the abundantly gifted Spanish director Vicente Aranda ('Juana la Loca AKA Mad Love','Amantes', 'If they tell you I fell', etc.). Incorporating the author of the novel as a main character seeking the story of Carmen from one of her lovers - José - provides just the right vantage for the story of this famous gypsy wild lady to be told.

Carmen (the amazingly beautiful and talented Paz Vega) works in a cigar factory in Seville, a factory adjoining the military station where the very proper José (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is stationed. Carmen is tempestuous and in a fight instigated by a fellow factory worker bringing attention to the fact that Carmen is a gypsy, Carmen murders the co-worker and is arrested. José is physically attracted to the voluptuous Carmen and when Carmen flirts with him he consents to allow her to escape - his payback is the promise for a night of passion with Carmen. Carmen keeps her pact, providing José with his first sexual encounter, and José is doomed. His lack of military discipline results in his losing his rank and being imprisoned for a while, but at his release José encounters Carmen again, kills a fellow officer, and in fear runs off to the hills to live with the smugglers and gypsies that are Carmen's people.
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This film is an adaptation of the original story that the opera Carmen was based on. It has a great look ( very Goya in it's landscapes ) and it has an actress, Paz Vega, who is quite believeable as a woman who could make most fellows stray off the straight and narrow!!!
Well worth a look!
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This film is an almost line-by-line retelling of Prosper Mérimée's short story Carmen, which, decades later, became the source of Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy's libretto for Bizet's opera. The American DVD edition cover dutifully dumbs this down for our consumption: "based on Bizet's wildly popular opera".

So much for ignorant marketing! At least, we get an anamorphic transfer -the Spanish edition is woefully letterboxed!

Superb photography, beautiful actual locations, and Ms Vega, who is not at all shy about performing head-to-toe, full frontally and rearly **clothed** in more than one scene!

What an eyeful!
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This is an extremely lush period piece, set in the early 1800's, that is modeled on the original novel that served as the basis for Bizet's opera. A Franco-British travel writer meets a strange bandit Spain, a seeming man of honor who shows mercy and a civilized intelligence, promising the writer that he will tell him his story if they meet again. This leads to one of those wonderful improbable adventures that is perfect for a film.

Assuming that the reader would know Carmen's story, I will not attempt to avoid ***spoilers***. The thief, it turns out, was a serious young enlisted man in the Spanish Army, an inexperienced naif. In the adjacent cigar factory, Carmen disfigures a woman in a brawl and the soldier allows her to escape. This leads to his humiliation, their passionate involvement, and his descent into a hell of dishonor, suicidal jealously, and murder. The writer meets the man again in the city, and when he is incarcerated, he agrees to tell his story.

The acting is absolutely superb. Vega is perfect as Carmen, a creature of sensuality, manipulation, and lack of human emotion. She is a destructive force that the young soldier cannot resist, even as he recognizes what she is. The soldier himself is completely convincing as the fool who cannot stop himself and would do it all over again.

This is so believable it is agonizing to watch. Recommended with enthusiasm.
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