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Carmen (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 3 October 2003 (Spain)
Based on the novel by Prosper Merimee, CARMEN is the classic tale of forbidden passion between a young man (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and a spoken-for woman, Carmen (Paz Vega). It is told in ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
José
...
Tuerto
Joan Crosas ...
...
Próspero
Joe Mackay ...
Teniente
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Lucas
Julio Vélez ...
Señorito
Emilio Linder ...
Aristóteles
Miguel Ángel Valcárcel ...
Juanele
...
Magistrado
Ismael Martínez ...
Antonio
Ginés García Millán ...
Tempranillo
Susi Sánchez ...
Blanca
...
Fernanda
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Storyline

Based on the novel by Prosper Merimee, CARMEN is the classic tale of forbidden passion between a young man (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and a spoken-for woman, Carmen (Paz Vega). It is told in flashback as the young soldier, stripped of his decorations, explains all in a prison cell. He tells of the love he had for Carmen and how it proved to be destructive. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

3 October 2003 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Кармен  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,141,628 (Europe) (3 October 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Neco z Carmen (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Where's the va-va-voom?
5 November 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Screen-wise, the story of 'Carmen' has lent itself to more than two dozen outings: the plot, with its core elements of jealous lovers, femme fatales and outlaws, being powerful (indeed, simplistic) enough to embrace several contemporary stylings, such as 1954's all-black Carmen Jones, 2001's 'Carmen: A Hip Hopera', and Jean-Luc Godard's 1983 film First Name: Carmen.

Similarly, while it's a popular misconception that 'Carmen' first flowed from composer Bizet's pen, the crowd-pleasing opera is just one of numerous interpretations, including dance and theatre productions, of Prosper Mérimée's 1847 source text.

Though a crowd-pleaser now, and a terrific enlivener of many a 'Classical Lite' compilation CD, opera-goers attending the 1875 premiere performance actually thought it less than the Bizet's knees, owing to its interminable chunks of dialogue, later expunged or set to music. It's those glorious songs we most associate Carmen with these days: and, tellingly, this version - a straight, self-important retelling of the novella - feels infinitely poorer for their exclusion.

As if anticipating the loss, director Aranda attempts to hold the interest during almost two hours of screen time, through full-frontal nudity, judicious smatterings of gore, and authentically course dialogue.

It's in this attention to earthy period detail that the filmmakers have really succeeded: the costumes, lighting and production design are uniformly excellent. For such a purist take, however, occasional liberties have been taken - some good, some indifferent. In a canny nod to the political climate of the age, the French soldier José has become Basque, although the use of flashbacks and the inclusion of Mérimée as a character in his own story doesn't add a great deal.

Most damagingly, the marked lack of eroticism, or sexual chemistry between Vega and Sbaraglia, is frankly baffling, while hysterical, near-burlesque turns are the order of the day. As the titular seductress, Vega resembles nothing as much as a nose-powdered catwalk model flouncing about with a broken heel.


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