Too self-conscious to woo Roxanne himself, wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac helps young Christian nab her heart through love letters.
The last 12 months have seen a lot of musicals come and go in cinemas, with the latest being Joe Wright’s adaptation of ‘Cyrano’, a well known story that has been adapted for cinema several times before now (most notably with Gerard Depardieu in an Oscar nominated turn in 1990). Filling the shoes as the titular character this time around is Peter Dinklage, who hasn’t perhaps had the roles his talent deserves since ‘Game of Thrones’ ended a few years ago. ‘Cyrano’ gives him a strong leading role and he is the beating heart of this movie.
For those unfamiliar with the story of ‘Cyrano’, it centres on a hopeless romantic who is in love with his childhood friend (Roxanne, played by Haley Bennett), yet this is unrequited as she is in love with another (Christian, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Christian is a good looking man, but lacks the poetry to convey his feelings to Roxanne, so Cyrano helps him compose letters to Roxanne, essentially translating his love for her into these letters to help another. There is a third man in the equation, the ridiculous Duke De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn) who Roxanne is betrothed to, and who will play a key part in the story. How this situation unfolds plays out in a melancholy way, with a musical score composed by the American indie rock band ‘The National’ bringing the narrative alive musically.
I really liked the songs in ‘Cyrano’, which is not a huge surprise as I really like ‘The National’, although granted they are a bit of an odd fit with the story and the setting. Some of the songs that Roxanne sings almost sound like the kind of music Madonna was making in the 80s, which as much as I enjoyed I’m not sure went hand in hand with a period drama. Overall I did enjoy ‘Cyrano’, particularly for Dinklage’s performance and the songs, but it is certainly a bit of an odd beast and ir won’t be to all tastes!
Directed By: Joe Wright
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Mendelsohn and Bashir Salahuddin
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