Don Giovanni

1979 [ITALIAN]

Drama / Music

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 1182

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 22, 2021 at 05:38 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.58 GB
1184*720
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 22
3.25 GB
1776*1072
Italian 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 56 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FloatingOpera7 10 / 10

The Greatest Don Giovanni Ever Made

Not only do we get a visual feast, but the singers are incredible, fleshing out the dramatic core of this opera and even delivering moments of genuine beauty and splendor. It stars Ruggero Raimondi as the seductive and sinister Don Giovanni, Edda Moser as Dona Anna, Kenneth Reigle as Don Ottavio, Jose Van Dam as Leporello, Kiri Te Kenawa as Dona Elvira, Teresa Berganza as Zerlina, Malcolm King as Masetto and John Macurdy as the Commandatore. In a minor/silent but seemingly important role as a servant in black is the youthful-looking Eric Adjani. The multiple dimensions of this film are too much to talk about but I will try to highlight some of them.

First of all, Lorin Maazel as conductor is perfect. He brings out the dramatic content without sacrificing the melodic beauty Mozart wrote into the opera. The cinematography is gorgeous. It was shot in Venice (during the Overture we see the canals and opulent boats), Vicenza the countryside, crowned by Italian villas and palaces the Villa Rotunda is dismissed as a historic Italian landmark and becomes Don Giovanni's regal estate, and some indoors scenes were shot in the interior of the Olympic Theatre. Most of the movie is shot in fresh natural sunlight or moonlight. The powerful performances by the lead singers is extraordinary and each bring a colorful and individual portrayal. Ruggero Raimondi is a rare breed of "high" bass, capable of producing masculine chest voice but also a radiant, tenor-like top register. He is seductive but devilish in his portrayal. His eyes, especially, seem to give away his dark predatory soul. In Raimondi, we have one of the best Don Giovanni interpretations. He's lewd, he's lusty, he's murderous, he's a shameless libertine whose motto is "Viva La Liberta!" Long live liberty!

The film has subtle symbolism and poetic imagery. For instance, during the Catalog Aria that Leporello sings to Elvira, he reads from a seemingly unending list in which the Don has written his conquests, a list that goes on and on, draping the stairs and rolling to the road toward the villa. During the Seduction duet "La Ci Darem La Mano" we briefly glimpse a huge Crucifix and we see a dog sleeping. These I took to represent the ethic and morals that Zerlina would compromise if she succumbed to the Don's passions- she would betray her Catholic faith by breaking her engagement with Masetto and being unfaithful unlike the faithful man's best friend the dog. Also, the Commandatore is evidently foreshadowing his vengeance on the Don as he is dying, when he is pointing at the Don.

The complex Dona Ana' dilemma: she is possibly lusting after the Don and attempting to fight off her own desire for him and keep faithful to Ottavio. Whom is she mourning really when Don Giovanni is sent to Hell ? She is always claiming that she mourns her father's death but yet as soon as she hears that the Don has been sent to Hell, she postpones the wedding to Ottavio for another year. Very odd. Eric Adjani is the silent and mute strange servant in black. Who is this person ? Who's side is he on ? He is evidently one of the Don's many servants but during the Overture he is looking knowingly at Dona Ana as the fire furnace is being installed in the Don's home. Also, during the scary scene in which the Commandatore statue comes to dinner, this shady character shows no sign of being frightened and in fact one feels that he is in on it somehow, as if he is an avenging angel as well. He seems to have knowledge of something the audience doesn't know and his personage both opens and closes the opera literally as he closes the doors to the Don's villa.

Edda Moser portrays a supremely dramatic Dona Anna. She is Wagnerian in her dynamic performance, a steely victim, a wronged woman who seeks revenge on a man we also feel she might possibly be attracted to, mainly because her fiancé, Kenneth Reigle's Ottavio, is so lackluster and dull. Now, I admire and love Kiri Te Kenawa in various other roles- she is the definitive heroine in Cappricio and perhaps even the most definitive Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte and a rather touching Countess in Figaro, but as Dona Elvira she lacks the fire and fury that is so vital to the role. Dona Elvira is the most Italianate heroine in the opera and she has arias and lines which focus on her feisty and fiery temperament. Kiri sings gorgeously but her emphasis is on the beauty and consequently comes off as too noble, too majestic and dignified. She should be outraged and obsessive, wanting more than anything to get back at Don Giovanni as well as to land him for herself. But Kiri does not show us any of this necessary dramatics.

Teresa Berganza is an adorable Zerlina, cute and clever. Note how she is almost tempted to run off with the Don but wises up and decides to stay with her fiancé Masetto when she realizes Don Giovanni is a devil. Berganza is actually my first choice for the best Zerlina. Malcolm King, who is sexy as hell, is equally adorable as Masetto, especially when we see how jealous and easily provoked he is. Finally, Jose Van Dam as Leporello is quite good, especially because he's not just a loyal "idiot". He's in fact true to Mozart's concept of Leporello- a servant who is wiser than his master. Van Dam captures the noble spirit of Masetto, who is just a pawn to his master's schemes, but who on his own would definitely be on the side of the good guys.

Reviewed by Rosabel 7 / 10

A multi-level reading of a complex opera

A fascinating film that seems to be operating on several levels at once. It was hard for me sometimes to just listen to it as an opera, because I felt that there were so many messages being imparted through the sets, landscape and especially the extras who continually move about the scene as the main characters sing and act their stories. Others have observed that the common people are present everywhere, and yet just ignored by Don Giovanni; he even conducts his attempted seduction of Zerlina with half a village standing on the steps and watching. As an aristocrat, he doesn't even acknowledge the existence of these underlings, and can do what he wants without worrying about their opinion or their interference. Nor is this just the behavior of a bad man; Don Ottavio is much the same during one of his arias (I think it is 'Il mio tesoro') when he is walking about declaiming as peasants dot the lawn, taking their afternoon siesta. Perhaps the point is not so much to accuse anyone of being deliberately cruel, as to underline how absolutely divided the aristocracy is from the common people. Not only do the aristocrats ignore the commoners, the commoners seem to be pretty oblivious to the aristocrats, too. No matter what Don Giovanni gets up to, the work of the peasants just goes on - he may wander down to the kitchen once in a while to give a little speech and pinch a serving wench, but it makes very little difference to anyone if he's present or not. The whole of this society seems as artificial and fragile as Don Giovanni's lace sleeves; this is a world that is almost at the limit of its ability to hold together under the weight of its contradictions.

Ruggero Raimondi is a terrific Don Giovanni - handsome, graceful and charming, but with a hardness in the line of his mouth and his eyes that creates a very disturbing feeling of danger. Zerlina, though attracted, seems to sense that there is something wrong about him, though she isn't quite sure where to attribute the feeling of fear he inspires in her. Teresa Berganza was my favorite of the 3 main ladies; Edda Moser seemed very grim after her opening scene, and Kiri Te Kanawa reminded me irresistibly of Madeleine Kahn in "Young Frankenstein", especially with that tall silver-powdered hairdo. The silent servant played by Eric Adjani was another one of the puzzles that I felt this movie kept posing me. He seems to be a younger version of Don Giovanni, and one who is present almost as Don Giovanni's spirit, when the actual man is not there. During moments of crisis, he almost always watches Don Giovanni, not the action that is taking place outside him, and only Don Giovanni seems to really look at him. In the finale, he is almost like Banquo's ghost, sitting in Don Giovanni's chair until the master confronts him, and when the Commendatore's statue appears, Don Giovanni almost seems to bid him goodbye as he passes. I think the servant is Don Giovanni's conscience, the age when Don Giovanni, as a young man, cast him off and turned to evil. Now he follows him like a ghost of himself, observing but unable to influence.

Reviewed by aaron-497 8 / 10

Enjoyable

I enjoyed it very much. I'm fairly new to the whole wide world of opera but this was very entertaining. But what do I really comment on? Mozart's work, or the movie adaptation of it? Mozart of course is incredible. I love the opening scene, the closing scene and pretty much everything in between. My biggest problem, and I assume that this is true with opera in general is that once I passed the point that I had reached in familiarity from listening to a recording of it, the music was lost to me. I paid more attention to the words and what was going on in the plot than the music.

As for the movie adaptation, aside from it being very strange to watch and listen to an opera written more than 200 years ago on my modern television, I found it enjoyable. Yes, the preceding comment is true that the expressions were exaggerated and more fit for a stage but I don't feel they were inappropriate either. As far as sets and costumes and quality, I have very little basis of comparison, as I have not seen it on stage, or any opera for that matter.

In short, I found it to be very good, though I'm probably one of the very few sixteen year olds who would agree with that.

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