Top positive review
99 people found this helpful
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.