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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 19 reviews
on December 8, 2009
First, a few clarifications. Although the "Product Details" section says the film is 120 minutes in length and is presented in a "full screen" version, it actually runs over two hours and twenty minutes and is in a wide-screen format(it looks to be about 2.35:1 to me). Yellow, English subtitles are also available.

Now for the movie itself. I'm not an expert, but the film seems to be fairly accurate historically, especially for "movie history". This is most apparent in the depiction of Lucretia Borgia, played by Maria Valverde. She is not the murderous poisoner of legend, but a pawn of her father and brothers who is married off so the Borgias can create political alliances with other powerful families. There are some liberties taken with historical facts in order to tighten the narrative and make events less confusing. For example, in reality, Lucretia was only thirteen years old at the time of her first marriage. However, there's plenty of corruption, intrigue and assassination to keep the film interesting. Late in the film, when it looks like it might be slowing down a bit, Paz Vega shows up as sword-wielding Borgia opponent Caterina Sforza and gives the film a shot of adrenalin.

The movie is beautiful looking with lucious sets, costumes, and photography. It's fortunate that the film is presented in widescreen so this can be fully appreciated. The acting is also fine. The film has many virtues, but for me, comes up just short of those other Renaissance films QUEEN MARGOT and the first ELIZABETH with Cate Blanchett. That said, it's still a fine, entertaining film and well worth watching.
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on July 7, 2010
My only major complaint is that the closing credits are in such small print that they are indecipherable, even on a large HDTV screen.

My best friend's major complaint is that everyone shown in the film was too clean, as if they all bathed every hour.

I don't know much about Italian history of the era of the Borgias, but the film appears to try to give an accurate and reasonably unbiased summary of known facts about the Borgias and their times. The cinematography is excellent, the music enhances the emotions without being overly dramatic, and the costumes and architecture aappear to be accurate. The acting is superb and convincing. Paz Vega is outstanding in a very small part.

The events are depicted realistically, with more violence than many would care for; this film is not for the squeamish nor is it appropriate for children.

I liked this film immensely, but I cannot place it on my list of 100 greatest films I've even seen. But I would regret having missed it. Note that it is presented entirely in Spanish, with English subtitles available.
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on January 1, 2015
Many legends surround this family from Aragon, Spain who raised to the pinnacle of power in the XV century Europe: the Roman Catholic Papacy. When taken out of context, the cunning of this family is judged by XXI century standards and it is shocking. This movie shows the raise of a family in an antagonistic environment where a few families had the civil and religious power under control and this Spanish Pope was not part of their plans. Rodrigo Borja is a smart, resourceful and highly intelligent man who aspires to the higher power amidst a milieu of violence, treason and murder, supported by his family: he had grown up children from his wife (it was not unusual for a couple to live together without a marriage ceremony: Galileo is another example about 100 years posterior to Borja). Popes, and clergymen had mistresses and children, they fought in wars and were expected to behave as other heads of state (kings, emperors, chieftains).
Under the name of Alexander VI, Borja deals with changing times in Europe: the discovery of America, the power struggles between England (the War of the Roses and raise of the Tudors), France (with the Valois cousins, eventually with "the most Christian King" in Francois I), and Spain with the Catholic Queen and King (also king of Aragon); and of course the threat of the Ottoman Empire invading Europe.
The Borgias lived during what has been called the bloodiest century in Europe and supported the progress of Europe into the Renaissance.
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on April 1, 2014
You really would expect that the country that, you know, gave us the Borgias could do a better job of telling their story, but even a first-rate cast of actors couldn't save this stinker. In fact, this movie is so bad it almost seems like a parody, but no. It doesn't quite cross the "so bad it's funny" line and just stays in the "really, really bad" category. Awful direction, terrible writing and even worse editing. I really wish this had been available as a rentable video because then I wouldn't have it taking up space on my bookshelf.
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on June 6, 2017
liked it
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on June 5, 2010
If you love history, as I do, you should not miss this movie. Pity it wasn't longer. Details are amazing. The resemblance - based, of course, on existing paintings - of the actors to the actual characters they were playing was just incredible.

Lucrezia Borgia, I was glad to see, was depicted not as the wicked woman we all remember but as a dutiful daughter, used by her unscrupulous father again and again as a pawn for the benefit of the family name.

This is an outstanding period piece. Thumbs up from me!
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on August 31, 2015
It was very good and I received it promptly.
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on June 14, 2016
Great movie
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on May 5, 2011
This is a great primer for the new SHOWTIME miniseries with Jeremy Irons. The action scenes are fun. My only complaint would be how fast the subtitles seem to fly by.
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on June 14, 2013
I learned a lot about this family that I'm sure Catholic school would not have taught me in their history class. It's a must-read!!!!
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