Joan, who will inherit the throne of Castille, is sent to Flanders to marry the Archduke Philip.She falls madly and passionately in love with her husband. He is not faithful, however, and hersanity teeters because of this. Ambitious politicians jockey for power in the background, and seethe Queen’s possible madness as their ticket to ride. The film looks great, and the performancesare excellent. We aren’t shown much of the relationship before it begins to fall apart, however,…and so Joan’s madness lacks a strong context within the film. As well, Philip comes across asnothing more than a handsome, brooding cypher, leading us to wonder not only why Joan is soobsessed with him, but also what the hell he wants himself (beyond getting laid, that is).
The 5.1 soundtracks is, mercifully, in Castillian, and there is no dubbed option. Good. Themusic sounds great, and the sound effects are quite nicely rendered as well, creating a solidenvironment. Things sound particularly impressive whenever horses show up.
This may be a problem with the particular disc under review, and not a general flaw in therun, but during the first 40 minutes the disc would periodically freeze, with the picturecompletely disintegrating. That aside, the colours are also a bit drab and murky, and there is someminor grain. The blacks are solid, though, and the format is a nice 2.35:1 anamorphicwidescreen.
Nothing beyond trailers for Mad Love, Talk to Her and Son of the Bride.
This isn’t as successful a period piece as Elizabeth, but is consistently interesting. One note:the actual title, as translated on-screen, is “Joan the Mad.”
Special Features List