I'm personally surprised at the low rating presently for Bank Ban. The opera was new to me, but that didn't stop me from watching this opera film as a lifelong fan of opera and someone who liked Eva Marton. Apart from an overlong intermezzo and one scene that didn't fit with the libretto, the film was excellent. Shot in a very cinematic and fluid way and using very authentic locations that respects the period and style of music, it is very pleasing to look at. Musically, Bank Ban positively soars, thanks to Erkel's stirring score and orchestral playing of great power. The drama is very convincing, translating from opera to film with the drama you'd expect from an opera performance minus perhaps the sense of spontaneity without feeling stage-bound. It also does justice to the characters, who are the sort that are more complex than they appear to be, the titular character especially. The performances are wonderful, and the singing glorious. Special mentions go to Andrea Rost, singing beautifully with a lot of vocal and dramatic subtlety, and Eva Marton, shrewish and commanding as Gertrud with a rich voice that cuts through the orchestration with less of the wobble she had late in her career.
In conclusion, a really excellent opera film and the opera itself is very interesting and stirring stuff. 8/10 Bethany Cox
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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