"It’s quite fun, but not without its blemishes."
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"Too self-conscious to woo Roxanne himself, wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac helps young Christian nab her heart through love letters."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
Musicals are back, baby! We’ve been getting a whole bunch of them these last few years, and now among them Joe Wright brings us Cyrano starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison, Jr. and Ben Mendelsohn. However, this is NOT based after the famous Cyrano broadway musical but is an adaptation of the Edmond Rostand play with original songs written by Bryce and Aaron Desner.
Joe Wright helming a musical is incredibly interesting. Though not all of his films entirely land for me, I’ve always come to appreciate the visuals in his films, and Cyrano is no different. The cinematography and production design, along with the recent Oscar nominated costume work, give the film a specific flair to it, and when the musical numbers kick in, these aspects absolutely shine. However, Joe Wright's direction is the real star of Cyrano, the direction enhances the film’s sweeping romance and the melodrama of the entire film.
The numbers themselves can be hit or miss. Haley Bennett and Kelvin Harriaon, Jr. particularly have the film’s best numbers, but it’s the ones with Dinklage that end up falling flat for me. I sadly just found his voice work to not be as impressive as Bennett's or Harrison Jr.’s, which is a shame because Dinklage’s performance outside of the musical numbers is quite charming and adds a lot to the film’s romantic side. However, I feel there’s a missed opportunity to have more scenes between Harrison Jr. and Bennett. As the whole film revolves around their love, we only really get a small hint of their chemistry, and the film rushes their development and somewhat comes off as a bit forced.
I enjoyed Joe Wright’s Cyrano but something about it had me wanting more. It’s very romantic with quite the melodramatic side to it. It’s captivating visually and is so fun to watch as you're investing yourself into this story. However, there’s still an uneven vocal performance and missed opportunities in the central romance that I still kind of felt left hanging with Cyrano. It’s quite fun, but not without its blemishes.