Review by Chastity Campbell
Stars: Roberto Alvarez, Manuela Arcuri, Eloy Azorin,
Giuliano Gemma, Daniele Liotti, Pilar Lopez De Ayala, Rosana Pastor, Susy
Sanchez, Guillermo Toledo
Director: Vicente Aranda
Audio: Castilian Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 118 Minutes
Release Date: January 21, 2003
ďMy mother is dead, my husband
This is the first time Iíve had the pleasure of reviewing
a subtitled movie. I try to
approach all movie reviews from a new and fresh angle, and this DVD gave me
plenty of options.
Subtitled films live in a black and white reality.
You either love them or you hate them; there really is no in between for
this genre. Now, having stated
that, I can proudly say Iím among those who love them, and Mad Love is
a beautiful example of how to impress your audience.
Set during the Renaissance period, our story begins as
Joan, the Princess of Spain and Philip, son and heir to the Hapsburg Dynasty,
are married in order to form an alliance between the two ruling parties.
Joan is leaving all that she has ever known behind in order to do her
duty for God and Country. Phillip takes one look at her and begs the priest in waiting
to bless their union so he can carry her off and make love to her.
Truth be told, heís supposed to wait a week for the chosen priest to
arrive from Brussels, but I supposed when youíre that powerful and in lust (I
mean love), you can pretty much do what you please!
Once the marriage is signed, sealed, and consummated, Joan
finds herself completely lost in the tide of love and lust her new husband has
created for her. Things are
wonderful for the newlywed couple and they soon find a child is on the way.
The first child is born and Philip seems to be a supportive and caring
husband. However, as with all
things in life, sometimes people are just not what they seem to be!
Lifeís road will not be kind to Joan as she bears many
children for a man who only loves a memory of the woman she once was.
Philips road will be just as treacherous as he puts his own lusts above
the loving family life he could have had.
Director Vincente Aranda, well known for charging into
political drama and intrigue with his choices in films, takes no prisoners in
this spellbinding, sensual drama. From
beginning to end the watcher is inundated with one plot twist after another.
He makes you fall in love with the character of Philip, and two
heartbeats later you want to tear his head from his shoulders for the pain
heís causing poor Joan. You
will watch and wonder if Joan is truly mad as the Parliamentary officials claim,
or is she just enraged and blinded by the jealousy she feels toward all the
other women who share her husbandís bed.
This film has a lot going on, and you might find it hard to
keep up at first, but once you get into the swing of things, youíll have no
trouble letting reality fade and the movie experience kick in.
Presented in a very crisp and clean 2.35:1 anamorphic
widescreen format, this movie is creatively bold with the subdued color choices
director Vincente Aranda used to show us a very believable Spain in the early
1500s. There were no visual
flaws that I could see; only a slight glare in the scenes shot outside.
However to be fair, most of the outdoor scenes were shot while it was
raining or misting and that can sometimes hamper how the lens translates an
The audio was mixed and dubbed in a Castilian Spanish Dolby
Digital 5.1 format that was nearly flawless.
English and French subtitles are included for those of us who are
There were only a few dips in the audio during the outdoor sequences and during some of the scenes where Joan was screaming and yelling. Other than that, the soundtrack was layered very nicely without sounding too heavy. The dialogue was crisp and clear even if I couldnít understand a word they were saying.
Movie trailers for Son Of The Bride and Talk To
Her (both of which are foreign language films) are included.
The menus were single still frames with point and click
options. You get a choice of
subtitles in English or French but other than that, this DVDís features were