Edmond Rostand, Erica Schmidt
Haley Bennett, Peter Dinklage, Ben Mendelsohn
Drama, Musical, Romance
Rated: Rated PG-13 for some strong violence, thematic and suggestive material, and brief language.
Too self-conscious to woo Roxanne himself, wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac helps young Christian nab her heart through love letters.
Rounding out what I’m dubbing as “The Year of Musicals” we have ‘Cyrano’ (Peter Dinklage) who is in love with a woman of nobility named Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Roxanne is infatuated with a member of the army, Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) who is unable to speak to her. Cyrano then decides in order to keep his promise to Roxanne to keep Christian safe, as well as help Christian confess his love for Roxanne, he uses his incredible writing and his words to make them fall in love. But these are Cyrano’s words, and it is also his love for Roxanne that is hidden in plain sight, in this musical that could be something grand but falls flat on it’s face.
So what goes right in this musical? Well the inspired casting of Peter Dinklage is pretty incredible. His performance is by far the strongest part of the film, but you may need to separate his singing from the acting. All the supporting performances are also serviceable and work with what the story and music gives them. There is some great set design as well as costumes and make-up to definitely come up again during awards nominations. Where I don’t think the film will win anything is in its writing, and its music.
I remember a few years ago going to a concert for ‘The National’, the group that created the music for ‘Cyrano’. About 30 minutes passed by during the concert where I didn’t realize they weren’t playing the exact same song, and you feel that with this film. Not only does the music not work, but I feel it is wasted potential to bring out the voices of Dinklage and others. Speaking of others, Ben Mendelsohn’s character as the husband-to-be to Roxanne. He’s got barely anything to do with the film, has one song that I deem the “I’m gonna rape ya” scene that it is just terrible.
Overall, ‘Cyano’ is a lot of missed opportunities for me. I think the music could’ve been improved on, I think the dialogue could’ve been improved on, but you still can’t overlook how talented the cast and lead actors are in this musical that sadly I cannot fully, but if it sounds like it could be your thing please let me know what you think! I believe I’m going to be on the outside on this film as it has many glowing reviews.