"Don't buy this film, as the censor has blacked out certain parts.If films are being sold censored it should be made clear at point of purchase"
An Attempt to Recreate the Magic of LA CELESTINA
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/01/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"LA CELESTINA was written in 1499 by Fernando de Rojas and is considered to be second only to Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE as the greatest work of Spanish literature. Here the novel is adapted for the screen by Rafael Azcona, Francisco Rico, and Gerardo Vera, the last contributor serving as director of this sadly uneven film. Despite boasting a cast of some of the finest actors in Spain, the dialogue is such a mishmash of old rhythms and contemporary expressions that much of the magic is lost.
But then the story is a bit on the 15th century wild side: a handsome young knight Calisto (Juan Diego Botto) is obsessively in love with the beautiful Melibea (Penélope Cruz) yet it takes the love potions of the bruja Celestina (Terele Pávez), enlisted by Calisto's conniving servant Sempronio (Nancho Novo), to effect the magic. Calisto's faithful and humble servant Pármeno (Jordi Mollà) fails in his attempts to block the spells delivered by Celestina but to no avail. Once the magic is in effect the worlds of each person fall apart. The human passions of love, greed, lust, revenge, and desire interplay in a manner that brings destruction in the path.
Made in 1996 before many of the actors involved became famous, the film 'looks' magical with radiant costumes and sets and spot on music. But the dialogue is clumsy, the English translations even clumsier, and the whole story fails to work its spell on the audience. Instead of a fiery climax the film just sort of fizzles. But it is interesting to see Penélope Cruz, Juan Diego Botto, Maribel Verdú, Jordi Mollà and Nancho Novo in their early stage of development. This is an escapist period piece that could have been so much better, but even in this state it is entertaining. Grady Harp, November 06 "
Why was it censored
Hector C. Hernandez | Tepepan, Xochimilco Mexico | 03/14/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The American DVD was censored, the way they censored Wild on E!. Maybe the american moral is different from all others. How would americans censored a theatrical representation of La Celestina? Have they not see La Cestina in a Theater? Buy the Spain DVD PAL version. It is not censored, as it should be. It is a completely different experience."
A great film
Arturo Ramos Dalmau | Massachusetts, USA | 01/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In spite of minor issues related to censorship of nudity, which do not affect the plot, the cinematographic version of the play is excellent. Both the acting and the recreation of the atmosphere of the Spanish Barroque are major achievements of this film."
Prwtty much X-rated !!!
Janice K. Terrell | Port Arthur, Texas | 09/13/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I read this book in college, and was interested in seeing the DVD. However, the movie took a very different turn from the book we read in Spanish in my college class. I am no Victorian prude, but I was a little shocked at the sex scenes in the movie.The beautiful love scenes we imagined in the reading of the book were cheapened and made seem dirty."