review by Drusilla Blakey
As we prepared to watch the new Cyrano movie, memories of the old comedy Roxanne starring Steve Martin came to mind. But this movie is actually far more serious, and it is a musical based on a stage play by the same name. In fact, this movie is very dramatic and intensely emotional.
The story of Cyrano is perhaps familiar to many. A man falls in love with a beautiful woman who he doesn’t feel worthy of due to his physical appeal. In Roxanne, Cyrano had a very large nose and didn’t believe Roxanne could love him. This led to many funny scenarios playing out in the movie.
However, in this version, Cyrano is played by Peter Dinklage who, due to his physical appearance doesn’t believe Roxanne could love him. I appreciated that we didn’t have to look for something comical or something out of the ordinary to separate Cyrano from his love Roxanne. It was simply that Cyrano felt that due to his stature as a little person, he couldn’t be with her, or that she wouldn’t love him. It’s interesting to me because there’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just different. And that is something the audience can relate to. I think we have each had the experience where we have at times felt different or out of place. So immediately this creates a connection to the audience.
As the movie begins, I did feel it was a little slow starting and there was just a lot of build-up, but as we enter the second part of the movie where the love triangle is really more pronounced and the men are sent off to war with a possibility of never seeing Roxanne again, the story finally hits it’s emotional stride and I felt very invested in knowing what would happen to our love triangle.
I think one of the most powerful scenes to me, was not even with our main characters but with a group of soldiers singing as they go off to battle. They are writing letters home telling their family not to cry for them as they knew that they would probably fall but they sing heaven is where I lay. It was such an emotional scene that really had me at the edge of my seat.
Overall it was one of those great movies that’s just a heartbreaker. It’s sad, it’s emotional, but it’s just a good film. The performances of the main cast, Kelvin Harrison Jr and Haley Bennett are amazing. They are wonderful actors and great singers and really brought life to this film version of the stage play.
Another beautiful thing in the film are the costumes and the sets. As its set in the 17th century during the French-Spanish war, you get to see beautiful gowns and the beautiful city landscapes, but you also see grey, gritty, dirty scenes of war that really contrast the light and love with sadness and darkness. There is a reason this film was nominated for so many awards and I think it’s worth watching.
Check out Cyrano available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.