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The many anachronisms don't feel like such an artistically bold choice as they must have in the 80s. In fact they really detract from what is otherwise a very good film.
Well, that was a surprise.
I've read several biographies of Caravaggio, from Vasari to the modern era, in addition to having seen several documentaries and other more recent biopics. This one stands out in all the wrong ways.
I get it: there are numerous anachronistic elements, the speech was a clever 'ha-ha!' knee slap at the start, and the rusty brogue of the northern parts came through, admittedly, in some very humorous contexts throughout the film. But as mentioned by another poster here below, those things didn't carry nearly as much traction as they may have done around the original release date (anyone care to chip in?), or, above that, for anyone who is even remotely acquainted with the man beforehand.
A gimmicky, piss-poor attempt at a biopic. All one can glean from it is that Caravaggio is a painter, he had... patrons of sorts, and he was involved in some questionable society at times. Even the somewhat brief run-time cannot pardon that failure.
Its alright, but I think the film tries a bit too hard.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #58 in Time Out's The 100 Best British Films
This movie ranks #93 in BFI's Top 100 British Films
This movie ranks #156 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #274 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Narrative Films
This movie ranks #744 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die