by Robert Gardner; Steve Zorn; Sam Mercurio; Michael Richard Plowman; Gardner Films, Inc.; History Channel (Television network); Arts and Entertainment Network.; New Video Group.; DVD video
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
As far as a documentary goes, it was done rather well. The reenactment scenes were embellished with believable costumes and models of Leonardo's work, but I must admit I was a little put off by the frequent reappearance of the same actors playing different background roles. Not that it detracted from the story, I'm just a sucker for details. It was also odd that few of the actors were seen speaking--it was pretty clear that the voice actor for Leonardo was different than the physical actor seen on screen. Again, a minor detail, nothing important for most people.
The information is scholarly in that it is well cited and well executed. I trusted all of the Leonardo experts the makers interviewed for the film, and some seemed just so excited to be sharing their knowledge.
However, I couldn't find that the film went into any sort of depth in the artist's life. All the information presented could have been found in a Wikipedia article, and while no website can match the entertainment quality of the film, many exceed the depth of its information. The title suggests that the film followed some special structure to highlight Leonardo's morals and values, perhaps, but this "code" was not evident until the end, when the narrator specifically mentions it in the conclusion. The duration of it felt like an average documentary of a famous dead person.
That being said, I truly enjoyed this DVD. It's likely that the producers weren't looking to create anything profound with this work, but rather provide entertaining visuals to accompany a basic knowledge of Leonardo's life and career. It was well done.
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