"Ovid and the Art of Love"
Available May 19th on all VOD platforms
4 / 5 Stars
Level 33 Entertainment
(All photos courtesy Level 33 Entertainment (c))
Directed by Esme’ von Hoffman, the film is a refreshing interpretation of historical Rome and modern day Detroit. A young man is reading about Ovid for his class and starts to imagine the stories taking place in his home of Detroit.
Ovid (played by Corbin Bleu of “High School Musical” fame) follows his path of doing what he feels is right - giving up a secure position to instead immerse himself in the world of poetry. His nemesis Augustus (played by John Savage) creates problems for Ovid as do other figures from Roman history like Julia the Elder (played by Tara Summers) and Julia the Younger (played by Tamara Feldman).
The film is filled with dichotomy and intrigue. It took me awhile to understand just what was going on but once I did, the film worked nicely and was a creative way to bring history into the modern world.
Corbin Bleu was perfectly cast as the young poet Ovid. His journey becomes one of hope intertwined with the politics of Rome. There is no singing for you, “High School Musical” fans but Corbin’s acting more than makes up for it.
I was very intrigued by Tamara Feldman’s character. Her performance really had to run the gamut of pompous political aristocrat to eventual woman of shame. Her performance was a stand out to these eyes.
The mix of modern urban music with poetry slams also created this highly unusual juxtaposition between Ovid’s poetry written for the past that also still worked in the present day.
As both writer and director Esme’ von Hoffman really came up with a unique spin on classic material. I would go as far as to say this film could be used for educational purposes - at the collegiate level and perhaps at a more forward thinking high school level, too.
One aspect I didn’t care for wasn’t used much - thankfully - and that was the breakdown of the fourth wall fairly early on in the film. I didn’t feel the need to have Ovid speak to the camera. It was actually distracting to me and I wish that part had been left out.
Other than that, “Ovid and the Art of Love” was an intriguing film that kept my interest and I bet it’ll keep your interest, too.
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