Cyrano: The BRWC Review

Cyrano reimaged is what the full title of this film should be. It is a sumptuous feast for the eyes and ears but this Joe Wright directed cinematic foray is based on the stage musical adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt from the original, timeless story of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.

The story of Cyrano is a simple one, he excels at sword play both physical and rhectorical. Yet he feels that because of his size he is unworthy to pursue the affections of his friend and object of his affection, Roxanne.

In the titular role of Cyrano is Peter Dinklage, who plays the role full of earnest and gusto. His Cyrano not only helps poor hapless Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) to try and get the girl, Roxanne (Haley Bennett) but he sings as well. This is the biggest departure that will strike some, and the question that must be asked is does the singing add anything to it. I found it a distraction and an unwelcome visitor in what is a timeless story.

The beautiful but dull man helped by someone far more witty and charming but with an impediment. Here the impediment is stature rather than nose size, as in the original. That is a stroke of genius to use Peter Dinklage’s size as it doesn’t feel forced and adds a different gaze on the whole story. The other added dimension is that Cyrano is here telling a black man how to woo a white woman. In our modern gaze that feels very different.

However, being a muscial, songs are very important. Crucially songs should be memorable and there is not one song I can recall from having watched this film. That feels like a missed opportunity.

If you are in the mood for a musical then I would say this is charming way to spend a couple of hours and feast your eyes, ears and mouth with popcorn. It is however, not in the same league as the Gerard Depardieu 1990 version, whom some, consider to be the definitive version.

Cyrano is released in cinemas nationwide on 25 February.

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