Cyrano de Bergerac is a lover and a fighter, but when we first met him, he indulged in the vehement criticism a little. Played by Peter Dinklage with grace and delight, Cyrano emerges from a crowd of just standing in the room to berate a pompous actor and kick him off the stage. With slicing rhymes and a sharp sword, he defends dramatic truth against the powder preening of bastards. However, the audience, who paid to see Cyrano’s victim, mostly applauded his humiliation. A small number of objections are judged as fools, swindlers, or outright villains.
Item is mobilized to protect authenticity. It’s a paradox as old as art, and one that “Cyrano,” a new musical based on the French chestnut by Edmond Rostand, adopts a risky frenzy. Directed by Joe Wright, with songs by the members nation (Bryce and Aaron Dessner wrote the music, with lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser) and a screenplay by Erica Schmidt, this version wears a heart on ruffled sleeves, pursuing a romantic, airy, lighthearted vision with sincerity rather than coherence.
The original Cyrano, first performed in 1897, is an artistic return to the poetic dramas of the 17th century, written in Alexandrine’s couplets and infused with ancient notions. ancient, high in love and honor. In the decades since, the story has become familiar through countless variations and adaptations. Cyrano, a soldier ashamed of his large and contorted nose, is in love with Roxanne, who has a crush on a girl called Christian. Cyrano uses her literary talent to attract Roxanne on behalf of Christian. Each man becomes the representative of the other. Cyrano said: “I will make you eloquent, and you will make me handsome.
As a result, confusion produces both comedy – a mixture of cross signals and confused identities – and tragedy. Some versions soften or remove tragedy, like Fred Schepisi .’s sweet “Roxanne” (1987), starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah, and Netflix’s recent teen seductress “Half of it.” “Cyrano” by Wright and Schmidt started on the stage in 2019attacks in a different direction, conveying its pain in the lyrics and building towards a ghostly, deadly ending.
Along the way, it offers some fun moments, mostly thanks to Dinklage and Ben Mendelsohn as his arch-nemesis, the Duke of De Guiche. He’s also infatuated with Roxanne (Haley Bennett), and is a high-ranking military officer who holds the fates of Cyrano and Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) in his hands. Mendelsohn is brilliant at playing brutish, sadistic villains like this, and he offers himself as the perfect shield for Dinklage, whose Cyrano is belligerent, tough, and open-minded.
Smaller stature than large nose makes this Cyrano consider himself unworthy of Roxanne, who always considers him as a close friend and confidant. She and Christian have an immediate physical spark, effectively conveyed through smoldering glances. Bennett and Harrison do their part to infuse a technically clean flirt with an element of horror. Her cheeks were always in a perpetually rosy state, and he conveyed his stammering, tongue-tied desire.
They mostly support Cyrano’s words, which are meant to provide a conduit for a more genuine form of love. Rostand’s play is built on an emotional rendition of the mind-body problem. Together, Cyrano and Christian make the perfect man – word and image, spirit and flesh, agape and eros – but only insofar as they succeed in deceiving Roxanne. Although she is alone, she is also divided between the brain dimension and the emotional dimension of love.
At one point, Wright attempted to bridge this gap by staging part of some music in Roxanne’s bedroom, where she read Christian letters – that is, from Cyrano – in a trance. Soft strokes, pressing the pages to her lips and chest as she somersaults on a blanket. The serious absurdity of this scene, which may have worked on MTV in the early ’90s, is representative of the film’s dullness and its longing for sublimation.
A musical must be able to embrace both. But Wright, while a rude craftsman, is too dedicated to good taste to rise above the pinnacle of a melodrama or camping. The music strikes a pretty good balance between the rock ‘n’ roll economy and show-tuning luxuries, though the soundtrack feels like an album of second best songs. Only one mournful song sung by soldiers before the battle stands out, in part because its sentimentality has little to do with the central love triangle.
Five movies to watch this winter
Somehow, that geometry never quite aligns, despite the different cast. Bennett and Harrison are both pretty strong singers, and Dinklage’s voice has a believable point. He sounds a bit like Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, or a less tired Leonard Cohen.
He’s both the best thing in “Cyrano” and, for that reason, it’s undoing. From the moment Cyrano steps into the action, his charisma and wits are on display in a wonderful way, and Dinklage – funny, melancholy, sly – hijacks the film. But that means the debate on which the film depends is over before it even begins.
Rated PG-13. Overwhelm and swordplay. Running time: 2 hours 4 minutes. In the theater.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/movies/cyrano-review.html ‘Cyrano’ Review: Who Wrote the Love Book?