This summary contains the complete plot of the opera Rigoletto by Guiseppi Verdi. Rigoletto is a jester in the court of the Duke of Mantua. He has a hunch-back and he's rather unattractive,... See full summary »
Rome, June 1800, is ruled by fear, that is, republicanism collapses, and shifts to royalism. Scarpia, general of the secret police, on the side of royalism continuously commits many ... See full summary »
The Queen of the Night offers her daughter Pamina to Tamino, but he has to bring her back from her father and priest Sarastro. She gives a magic flute to Tamino and magic bells to the bird ... See full summary »
During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.
Something to enjoy, even if you are not an opera lover.
I have never been much of an opera fan, but it is hard to resist the appeal of this film. The cast is top rate and the production values are of equal quality. The sets and costumes are done with obvious care and add much to the overall effect. And who could not be in thrall to such beautiful women with such beautiful voices?
If the somewhat inane story of accidental eaves-droppings, deceptions, jealousies, characters hiding under beds and in closets, mistaken identities, and so forth gets to be a bit much, you can always close your eyes and just listen to the music--you never have to wait long for an outstanding aria or duet. And, given that this is advertised as a comic opera, I suppose you can't complain too much about its situation comedy tendencies. There *is* some serious commentary about the relationships between classes, e.g. one theme is whether Count Almaviva has the right to sleep with his servant Susanna on her wedding day to Figaro.
As has been mentioned, the lip-syncing is sometimes off putting, particularly when the characters remain mute while the vocal soundtrack continues, representing their thinking. And I found the extreme close-ups a bit distracting.
At three hours and twenty minutes this requires some stamina to watch in one sitting. It makes you appreciate the stamina required of performers who do this live.
The "Countess, forgive me" scene at the end has to be one of the most elegantly staged scenes of pure beauty ever recorded on film.
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