Nobody could fault director Milos Foreman for lacking ambition, but his epic portrayal of The Spanish Inquisition in Goya's Ghosts got a lukewarm reception from critics and moviegoers. It's an "engaging yet bumpy" ride with Javier Bardem playing a member of the Inquisition who becomes involved with Natalie Portman as the teenage muse of artist Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgård).
Raising The Dead
In a brief introduction to the disc, Foreman and co. hype up what is actually a rather flat film. Music builds to a crescendo in the background as, between clips, the director asserts the greatness of Goya, producer Saul Zaentz expounds, "It's about the era and the aura," and Bardem comes at you with adjectives like "greed, ambition and violence!"
As the label suggests, a compilation of 'soundbites' isn't much more edifying than the intro. Bardem and Portman reflect on their first meeting with Milos who, while seeming to be intimidating is actually quite a "funny", laidback guy. His good humour was fortunate for Bardem who admits that he harbours quite a lot of "insecurities" as an actor. He explains that he shared these mostly with Skarsgård on set, but it turns out the latter had his own shortcomings to worry about. The Swedish thesp confesses that a 'stunt hand' had to be employed for painting scenes because he hasn't got a jot of talent in that area.
Expecting The Spanish Inquisition
Finally, snippets of behind-the-scenes footage are patched together in a one-minute montage set to music. With so little to complement the film or put it into context, this DVD doesn't make it any easier to get a grip on Goya's Ghosts.
Goya's Ghosts DVD is released on Monday 10th September 2007.