Cyrano Movie Review

We all want to be loved for who we are. But that is not always easy when we believe that we are unworthy of the one(s) we love.

The new movie, Cyrano, is a musical adaptation of the Edmond Rostand play Cyrano de BergeracPeter Dinklage plays the title character. Cyrano is charming, a master swordsman/soldier and wordsmith, and in love with Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Without a penny to her name, Roxanne (like many women living in the pre-modern era), knows that she must marry. But she will only marry for love. That love comes in the form of Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

Unable to tell her how he feels due to his insecurities, Cyrano uses Christian for his conventionally handsome looks to express what he cannot say in person. Christian is equally tongue-tied, believing that his words are not enough to convey his own passion for her. They are joined by a third man, De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn), a nobleman who covets Roxanne for her beauty.

As this love triangle becomes more complicated, it becomes obvious that both Cyrano and Christian will have to come clean. What is unknown is how Roxanne will react and how the ripple effect of the lie change the course of their lives?

Directed by Joe Wright ( the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina, etc) and written by Erica Schmidt (the significant others of Bennett and Dinklage respectively), this film is an unexpected treat. I’m not usually a fan of movie musicals, but this one is worth watching.

With only one female lead character, it would be easy to box Roxanne into a corner. But she is so strong and so determined to make her own choices (as limited as they are), that it is easy to forget that her life is dictated by the men around her.

The heart of this narrative is the inability to love ourselves and be open to the people that are important to us. It’s why I believe we can all relate to Cyrano. Whether we are of short stature, have an unusually long nose, or another feature that we dislike, we all want to be loved for our authentic selves. It is just a matter of taking that leap and trusting that we will land on our feet.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. If I may be so bold, I would say that Cyrano will be on quite a few “best of” lists come the end of the year.

Cyrano is presently in theaters.


Pan Bombed And I Am Glad It Did

*- Before I go any further, I must state that I have not seen Pan. I am going off what others have said.

No career in Hollywood is complete without a bomb or two. Acclaimed director Joe Wright, known for literary dramas Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, directed Pan, the latest adaptation of Peter Pan. Over this weekend, the film recouped only $15.5 million of the film’s $150 million dollar budget.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why the film may have performed poorly at the box office:

  1. A story that has been retold to death: Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the story of Peter Pan. But the issue is that Hollywood often turns to the same stories and the same writers instead of taking a chance on a new writer or a new story. A good example of taking a chance on a new story is Something Rotten. I saw it for the second time yesterday and it was just as new, different, fresh and gut busting funny as it was back in May.
  2. A poorly written screenplay is made up for with heavy special effects: From the perspective of a writer and an audience member, the screenplay holds the key to the film’s success. If special effects have to be brought in to fill in the holes of a poorly written screenplay, then something is wrong with the film from the start.
  3. Hollywood continues the antiquated tradition of casting a Caucasian performer in the role of a minority: Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily. I’m sure she is a fine performer, but we are in 2015. Tiger Lily should have been played by a Native American actress.

Only time will tell if Pan will succeed with audiences and reviews while recouping production costs. But I have a feeling that it won’t.

Pan is presently in theaters. 

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