Juana is married off by her pious parents, the Catholic kings Ferndinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, to ally Spain, united by their marriage, to the Burgundian and other Habsburg heritage of archduke Maximilian's son Philip. When they meet, it's love at first sight, for her all-consuming, for him one of many happy bed partnerships as she later discovers. Deaths in her family soon make Juana Isabella's heir, but Ferdinand suggests she inherited her grandmother's madness and supports Philip's ambition to rule instead, which becomes the stakes of political maneuvering in the Cortes (nobility-dominated parliament). Combined with Philip's incurable infidelity, which includes a Moorish whore-princess, multiple drama is inevitable, and worse follows.Written by
What starts out as a sumptuous setting, with intricate period pieces and soft light cinematography, is quickly tainted by a very poor script. True, Pilar López de Ayala does give an envigorating rendering of this misfortunate queen, but after the first scene, it's all the same shrillness, over and over again. Even though the movie takes place over 10 years, the roles don't mature, either outwardly or inwardly, and the result are wooden characterizations that don't give any depth (or generate interest, for that matter) to the roles. The result is an inane, one-dimensional film that could have easily resembled similar period pieces such as La reine Margot or Elizabeth. Instead, it wallows in its own misery.
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