Outstanding! Move over În the Heights and West Side Story, this is the best musical since Greatest Showman. Joe Wright (Darkest Hour) delivers a thought-provoking musical adaptation of the classic story inspired by the real Cyrano de Bergerac–yes that’s right, before he was immortalized in Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play, he was indeed a real-life person. Furthermore, this adaptation of the timeless stage play provides audiences with immense depth by exploring romanticism versus reality. A topic that resonates with anyone that experiences this mesmerizing motion picture. From the 17th century Sicilian setting to the beautiful costumes to the phantasmagorical choreography, Wright captures the soul of the original story yet finds a fresh perspective that will touch audiences everywhere. Peter Dinklage’s Cyrano writes and sings things (my fellow Game of Thrones fans will appreciate that reference). The chemistry between he and his co-stars Haley Bennett (Roxanne) and Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Christian) is fantastic! Although there is undeniably a healthy level of intentional camp in this otherwise naturalistic melodrama, Wright strikes a perfect balance between the two common approaches to musicals, in order to comment on relevant interpersonal topics whilst keeping the live theatre-like experience highly entertaining. The subtext of the entire story isn’t so much one of star-cross lovers caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, but one of romanticism versus reality. Often times, we imagine a relationship or experience through an idyllic lens that constructs every element in the most ideal way possible, yet the reality of the relationship or experience is much more gritty and rough. Perhaps a great sacrifice must be made in the pursuit of the relationship that we had not anticipated. Perhaps the pursuit of the relationship may mean losing who you are. The possibilities of romanticism versus reality are endless. While Wright isn’t the first to bring de Bergerac to the big screen, he is the first to reinvent the classical tale though a spectacular big screen musical in the vein of the MGM Musicals of the Golden Age of Hollywood. You don’t want to miss seeing Cyrano on the big screen!
Ryan teaches American and World Cinema at the University of Tampa. If you like this article, check out the others and FOLLOW this blog! Interested in Ryan making a guest appearance on your podcast or contributing to your website? Send him a DM on Twitter or email him at RLTerry1@gmail.com! If you’re ever in Tampa or Orlando, feel free to catch a movie with him.
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